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2005 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc

by David on January 19, 2006

Goosecross Chenin BlancChenin Blanc isn’t showcased much here in California these days, but in Vouvray, a particularly picturesque town in the Loire Valley of France, it’s been treasured for centuries for its exquisite floral character. Our winemaker, Geoff Gorsuch, immediately thought of Chenin Blanc as the variety of choice when he contemplated making a slightly sweet white wine. When asked why he chose to produce a variety that is not as well known as some others, he commented that “It has all that beautiful melon and honeysuckle character and a touch of sweetness accentuates it. It’s the best choice for the style of wine I want to create and it’s the perfect complement to our line of dry whites.”

Winemaker Notes
Geoff fermented the juice at low temperature over a period of weeks to bring out the delicate fruit and floral flavors native to the Chenin Blanc variety. There’s no oak to mask the pear, grapefruit and honey so abundant in the 2005 vintage. It’s soft and graceful on the palate, with a bright acidity to offset the subtle sweetness.

Food Suggestions
While it’s quite delightful all by itself, our Chenin Blanc is versatile at the table because of its fresh, crisp finish. The vibrant fruitiness makes it a lively foil for spicy foods, especially Asian and Indian cuisine. Try it with “sweet” meats like ham, pork or shellfish. Geoff calls it “The perfect picnic wine. Have it with some cheeses and fruit on a warm afternoon.” Sounds good! As they say in the Loire, “bon appetite!”

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