NY Times 12 under $12
Pine Ridge, a Napa Valley producer, has been making this lively blend of chenin blanc and viognier for ages. The grapes don’t come from Napa, which keeps the price down. It’s light and bright, with flavors of flowers and herbs and maybe a touch of residual sugar. It will go well with seafood or chicken.
Grapes for our Chenin Blanc are sourced from the Clarksburg appellation, referred to as the “Gem of the Delta.” It is an appellation that is showing a great affinity for Chenin Blanc. The climate has a moderately long growing season and benefits from the maritime influence of the Sacramento River. The Viognier is sourced from Lodi, which has a classic Mediterranean climate, with warm days and cool nights. Natural air-conditioning is provided by the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta breezes and produces grapes with natural acidity. Rhône varieties like Viognier adapt well in this exciting appellation.
Chenin Blanc has long been the core of this blend and is sourced from the Clarksburg appellation close to the nearby Sacramento River Delta. The Chenin Blanc grapes were harvested at low sugar levels to emphasize bright fruit characteristics in the finished wine. In contrast, the Viognier from Lodi was picked at higher sugar levels, about 24 degrees Brix, to capture the floral and spicy nature as well as viscosity. After the grapes were crushed, the press wine was blended with the free run juice to increase palate weight. Each variety was inoculated with its own special yeast strain selected to maintain the fruity characters and then underwent a cool fermentation. To retain and highlight the fruit freshness of CB+V, the wine was fermented and aged in 100 percent stainless steel.
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