Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2018
Founding Dry Creek Vineyard in the 1960s, MIT graduate and impresario David Stare cashed in his engineering credentials for a small slice of heaven – an empty strip of land across from the Dry Creek General Store, in Sonoma County. The first winery in Sonoma since Prohibition, more than 50 years later, David–now along with his daughter Kim—is making profoundly delicious wine.
I haven’t met David or his daughter, but I have had the privilege of meeting many members of their sales team over the years. And every time I’ve had an introduction, I’ve been amazed at how long their team has been together – 14 years, 18 years, 28 years or even since the beginning, some 50 years ago. In these troubled times, it’s amazing to think of a family-owned business thriving for 50 years. It’s inspiring.
One of David’s first ideas was to plant Chenin Blanc, a relatively unknown variety at the time. Chenin Blanc is like the ultimate cross between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and Dry Creek’s Chenin is a perfect example. It delivers all the vibrant patio refreshment of Sauvignon, but with the textural richness of Chardonnay (and without oak). This makes it an amazing warm-weather companion.
Dry Creek Vineyard’s 2018 Chenin opens with aromas of white peach, white flowers, hints of orange blossom, and touches of exotic Asian fruits. The palate is refreshingly vivid, yet also has a bold textural element that makes it perfect as a cocktail, and as a partner for huge array of dishes at the aspiring-towards-summer table.
This would be wonderful with springtime grilled salmon with ramp pesto rested on a fava bean puree—and with dishes having an Asian flair – I’m thinking roast pork tenderloin with a pineapple cilantro salsa. Or heck, take it Mexican with poblano and smoked pork shoulder tamales with plenty of chipotle-enriched sour cream. Yes, this wine can tackle all of those flavors and bring your backyard party (socially distanced, of course) to a new high. The finish ends with a lingering sense of weight and minerality, perfectly delivered in every ounce of deliciousness.
Bring on summer with the ultimate in refreshing versatility!
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