We are close to be releasing our 2006 Chenin Blanc in our brand new shiny package. Chenin is one of those underappreciated varietals that really deserve more attention. Chenin vineyards were mostly planted in the 80â€™s and are among the oldest vineyards in the State of Washington. Luckily few wineries are interested in buying Chenin allowing us to source a good amount of Chenin grapes from those older vineyards (25 years old). The advantage of sourcing older vineyards is that they produce lower yields and have a more established root system providing us with a better expression of the soils of Eastern Washington.
Our Chenin winemaking is supported by two main principles, 1) Chenin has a tendency to go reductive (reduction is an electrochemical state accentuated when the wine is poor in dissolved active oxygen. Its manifestation can range from a slightly canned fruit taste to overly stincky rotten egg) and 2) Chenin has a slight bitter finish reminiscent of chewing a grapefruit rind. We keep our Chenin very clean at all time as wine lees are a great oxygen scavenger and can increase the reductiveness of the wine. We also leave a tid bit of Residual Sugar (1.2% in 2006) to coat the mouth soften the finish.
The result in a great Chenin Blanc loaded with all I love about Chenin. It is a bit grassy with melon and grapefruit notes, a bit like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It has a good acidity balancing the Residual Sugar. This is a great aperitif and a good companion to salads and vegetables. It is also awesome with goat cheeses.