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Dry Creek Vineyard 2016 CheninBlanc Picmonkey

2016 Dry Chenin Blanc

 

Dry Creek Vineyard

Clarksburg

Alcohol: 13%

Suggested Retail: $15

“Chenin Blanc is an under-appreciated grape. Native to the Loire Valley of France where it produces lovely white wines, Chenin Blanc may suffer in the U.S. from a reputation acquired years ago. Once widely planted in California, even in the now-Cabernet-centric Napa Valley, it produced a light and fruity wine that most winemakers treated in what’s now called an ‘off-dry’ style (translation: fairly sweet). That’s not the way I remember such wines in the Loire and it doesn’t have to be the way Chenin Blanc is interpreted in this country. Other American wineries also make a drier style of Chenin Blanc, but maybe none better than Dry Creek Vineyard which has produced Chenin Blancs every vintage of its 45-year existence.

“Though Dry Creek Vineyard is perhaps predictably located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley appellation, the winery sources its Chenin Blanc grapes from Clarksburg, a lesser-known growing region just south of Sacramento. Clarksburg produces many different varietal grapes, but it’s the Chenin Blanc that really shines.

“A dry Chenin Blanc is a versatile wine. It’s a great choice as an aperitif or reception wine, but also pairs well with many foods. It has been a perennial winner in competitions to pick the best West Coast wine to savor with West Coast oysters, placing ahead of many Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc entries. We’ve enjoyed it with oysters, but also with many fish and chicken dishes, too.

“The 2016 Dry Chenin Blanc from Dry Creek Vineyard exhibits pear and pineapple aromas and has wonderfully creamy flavors of melon and orange or tangerine. Texture plays a role in the enjoyment of wine, especially when it is as pronounced as in this wine. This Chenin Blanc isn’t heavy or ponderous, but it delivers a real tactile sensation in the mouth. Though the flavor isn’t at all similar, a sip is almost like tasting a tablespoon of olive oil. There’s a richness, an oiliness (in a good way) to it. “

Food Affinity: “The aforementioned fresh, raw oysters, of course. Cracked crab, prawns in a light tempura batter. Mahi Mahi topped with ground macadamia nuts or even a simple roast chicken, preferably prepared with some sliced garlic and orange zest slipped under the skin.”

 

Editor’s Note:  Wines reviewed in Taste California Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.