Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Dry Creek Vineyard New Releases Hit The Summer Entertaining Trail

Grab one or more of these three wines for your next patio wine extravaganza.

Patio Party Planning

When that old sun begins to shine on the backyard and the grill is smoking away, you need just the right wines for the friends descending on your patio. Here is a trio of new releases from Dry Creek Vineyard that capture the fun of a wide-open summer.

2020 Dry Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg

Dry Creek Vineyard has produced Chenin Blanc every year since the family winery was founded in 1972. That’s a lot of Chenin!

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It took some luck and skill to bring this delicious wine to market. A wildfire in Sonoma and one in a remote forested area threatened the purity of the region’s wine grapes. Since white grapes aren’t fermented on their skins, they are less susceptible to smoke taint. Lighter pressings were also used to limit the potential impact.

This is a simply wonderful Chenin that is a perfect dinner guest. Honeysuckle and peach notes on the nose give a foretaste of what’s to come. Lemon, melon, and a hint of orange zest grace the palate. The wine has a soft and filling texture. It is an ideal pairing for seafood or shines as an aperitif. SRP is $16.

2019 Heritage Vines Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

I’ll cut right to the chase: This wine rocks! The Heritage Vines are pre-Prohibition era vines grafted onto phylloxera-resistant rootstock. The result is young vine wine with Old Vines characteristics. This is perhaps our favorite Zinfandel of the bushels out there.

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We popped this one open at the end of an evening of dinner and wine with friends. It was time for something sweet. Out came a chocolate mousse pie.

I’m not sure if this is an ideal pairing – but it does combine two longtime loves: chocolate and excellent Zin! Some Zins entice you with jammy fruit flavors. The Heritage Vines is a more refined bottle with complex layers changing and dancing as you drink.

The black cherry and raspberry notes fill the mouth as you enjoy highlights of toasted oak and savory herb. It’s a rich and round wine with silky tannins. The finish is all mocha with a dash of white pepper. At $26, this is a tremendous value.

2020 Fumé Blanc, Sonoma County

Buy this wine and buy it in abundance for your summer entertaining. This Fumé Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, the most planted grape in Dry Creek Valley and a variety championed by Dry Creek Vineyard. It’s a classic dry wine that is now in its 49th vintage.

It’s modeled after the beloved wines of the Loire Valley in France and it has a chic yet fun style that’s perfect for summer. Lime and the smell of fresh-cut grass highlight the bouquet. On the palate there is grapefruit aplenty with peach and tropical flavor. The acidity is intertwined with a refreshing minerality.

We paired this with Barramundi in herbed butter sauce and Ombré Root Vegetable Gratin. The acidity of the wine contrasted nicely with the fattiness of the fish. The artful gratin dish brought delicate flavors to the meal and the Fumé provided the high notes for the bites.

The wine finishes crisply and with the right chill on the bottle, this is ideal for a warm evening on the patio. At $16 we recommend this as a multi-bottle buy.

Full disclosure: This wine was received as a marketing sample.

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