J Wilkes Pinot Blanc 2014 Front Label
J Wilkes Pinot Blanc 2014 Front LabelJ Wilkes Pinot Blanc 2014 Front Bottle Shot

J Wilkes Pinot Blanc 2014

  • WW93
750ML / 13.8% ABV
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750ML / 13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2014 stainless steel fermented fruity Pinot Blanc is all about the Santa Maria Valley terroir. Straw yellow in color, notes of apples, citrus and cantaloupe on the nose and pears and light minerality on the palate with a medium body and crisp finish. Enjoy with salads, sushi or Thai food or in warm weather by itself.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 93
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Where does one begin with Pinot Blanc? Up until the early 1980s, the industry considered the grape variety to be a similar, but less attractive to Chardonnay. With similar flavors—dried peach skin, apple core, and mineral—the wines often mimicked the more known grape variety but with less acidity. In the 1990s and the rise of Alsace as an exciting source of super premium white wines, Pinot Blanc gained more attention than it had been receiving. New world winemaker became more interested, and when they employ top vineyard sites and handle the grape variety carefully, the wines stand on par with Chardonnay's finest efforts. With aromas and flavors of core fruits, bright minerals, and sweet earth, the 2014 J Wilkes Pinot Blanc pairs well with baked chicken. Drinks well now. (Tasted: August 25, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
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J Wilkes

J Wilkes

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J Wilkes, California
J Wilkes Winery Video

After a long and rewarding career as a salesman, grape grower and ambassador for Santa Maria and Paso Robles wine, Jeff Wilkes decided to try his hand at winemaking.

He went to his long-time employer and friend, Steve Miller, with a proposal to create wines that focused on California’s Central Coast, through the lens of two of its sub-AVA’s, Santa Maria and Paso Robles Highlands.  

Jeff launched his namesake label in 2001 and immediately received critical acclaim.  He continued on that path until his untimely passing in 2010.  Inspired by Jeff’s vision and moved by their friendship, the Miller family decided to continue the J. Wilkes label as a tribute to Jeff’s passion.  


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Santa Maria Valley Wine

Central Coast, California

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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Approachable, aromatic and pleasantly plush on the palate, Pinot Blanc is a white grape variety most associated with the Alsace region of France. Although its heritage is Burgundian, today it is rarely found there and instead thrives throughout central Europe, namely Germany and Austria, where it is known as Weissburgunder and Alto Adige where it is called Pinot Bianco. Interestingly, Pinot Blanc was born out of a mutation of the pink-skinned Pinot Gris. Somm Secret—Chardonnay fans looking to try something new would benefit from giving Pinot Blanc a try.

SWS331769_2014 Item# 153999

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