While digging around in my cooler I came across a lone bottle of Kenneth Volk Pinot Blanc 2005. It has been a while since I tasted this wine and since it was the only bottle (not nearly enough to share) I decided to open it. For those of you not familiar with the name, Kenneth Volk founded Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards in Paso Robles in 1981. In 2003, he sold Wild Horse founded Kenneth Volk Vineyards at the eastern end of the Santa Maria valley. A bit adventurous in his wine making (I reviewed his Negrette earlier), he is one of the few wine makers who does a Pinot Blanc. What's a Pinot Blanc? The Pinot Blanc is a white grape, a genetic mutation of the Pinot Gris grape. An interesting grape, they look like a Chardonnay grape (and even lead some people to call them "Pinot Chardonnay"). In Europe you find the Pinot Blanc grape in France (in the Maconnais and Alsace regions), Italy, Germany, and Austria. Outside of Europe there are some plantings in Uraguay, Argentina, and some in California. Pinot Blanco is a somewhat neutral grape with good acidity.
Kenneth Volk's efforts show a good oaked representation of a Pinot Blanc wine. The wine is yellow with a tinge of green, clear and pretty to look at in the glass. The nose delivered a light apple/pear combination that made me wish for a bit of cinnamon and vanilla for a wintery treat. I almost got my wish... except for the cinnamon that is, for I got a little creamy, toasted vanilla pear/apple cobbler (mmmm... perfect for Christmas time) with nice acidity (though I wished for just a touch more bite to it), finishing up with a touch of minerality (flinty pear/apple cobbler) that trails off for a nice length.
For a typical summer wine, this delivered a lot of winter-time thoughts and feelings for me.