Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dry Creek Vineyards 2015 Wilson Ranch Dry Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg

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There is a danger with Dry Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc. My wife is liable to drink it all before I sample it. Here’s why.

Loire Valley Roots

I’ve been a fan of Chenin Blanc for many years. It all started with Vouvray from France’s Loire Valley.

The Vouvray which I first enjoyed had a touch of sweetness balanced with acidity plus a smidgeon of effervescence. It was a lovely bottle for dining out.

Dry Creek Vineyard, located in Sonoma, draws its inspiration from the Loire Valley and has produced another fine effort with its 2015 vintage Wilson Ranch Dry Chenin Blanc. The winery has produced Chenin Blanc with grapes from Wilson Ranch for more than 25 years.

The Green Dragon’s Thirst

My wife, aka the Green Dragon, is a lover of refreshing white wines. Sauvignon Blanc tops her list, but based on this bottle (and some we sampled in South Africa) Chenin Blanc is climbing in the rankings.

She insists that the wine be properly chilled (no warm whites and not to cold to dull the flavors). She also dislikes overly oaked whites and craves rich tastes.

I may have a glass of a nice white one evening only to discover the bottle completely drained the next night. Such is the Dragon’s thirst. I had to move quickly to taste this wine!

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An Expressive Chenin

The 2015 DCV Wilson Creek is 100% Chenin Blanc from the Wilson Ranch in Clarksburg, an area in the Sacramento delta known for its Chenin. The wine is stainless steel fermented.

The 2015 harvest was one of the earliest in history. The yields were down but the quality was high. There were just over 7,000 cases produced using stainless steel fermentation.

On first swirl there is a rush of pineapple and banana. On the palate there is peach and orange. The profile is fresh fruit with rounded edges.

This is a great pick for an after dinner wine or a casual afternoon in the back yard. It also is a superlative match with seafood or Asian cuisine.

Over the years we’ve come to appreciate the great value from Dry Creek Vineyard. We’re glad that trend continues. The SRP for this wine is only $13 and would be a bargain at twice that.

This Chenin Blanc is a great pick for foodies and those who appreciate refreshing values.

Full Disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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