Coming soon to a tasting room near you – Spring Whites. Coming up on May 19th we will be hosting an event in our tasting room featuring our wide variety of white wines. We are really excited to showcase some new wines, as well as some old favorites. First up is a wine we haven’t made since ’83; Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is a variety originally from the Loire region of France. Our history with the variety begins in 1985 when we had begun the process of taking over the Ibarra-Young vineyard. Charlotte Young had originally planted 10 acres just south of Los Olivos to Cabernet Sauvignon, for the Firestone winery. By 79 the contract was expired and Charlotte grafted in Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc for the Los Viñeros (a custom crush/wine making group).
Back in the bottle
By 85 things had changed just a bit, and Charlotte was ready to pull the vines out of the ground. Bob heard about this and contacted Charlotte hoping to get some grapes in the ground that he was interested in. Starting that year Rhone varieties were grafted into the vineyard, but that did nothing for Charlotte who still had a vineyard full of Chenin Blanc to sell. To show his good intentions and commitment to the arrangement, Bob purchased Charlotte’s Chenin, and made wine out of it. Being our 30th Anniverssary we couldn’t help but be a bit reflective and look back to where we started. Ibarra-Young is a small vineyard, and not a well known one, but for us it is the start of things. Had Charlotte not let us graft we wouldn’t have been the first producers of Marsanne in California, or the first GSM blend in Santa Barbara. It seemed only proper to pay homage to her and Miguel Ibarra with a grape we hadn’t made since our first business with them. We got the fruit from the White Hawk vineyard in Los Alamos. The Chenin Blanc is lean and bright. Lime and mineral complement a medium body. Served at just under room temperature a note of melon starts to emerge.
Another particularly exciting bottling for us is our 3rd vineyard selection Albarino. There is a new Verdad Albariño single vineyard bottling from the famous Paragon Vineyard in Edna Valley, which is SIPS certified sustainable. Paragon (aka Edna Valley Vineyard Paragon) was planted in 1974, and represented the first major investment in high quality wine grapes in the Edna Valley. The vineyard (and Edna Valley Winery) are now owned by Diageo wine group, with 1100 acres under vine, making up 50% of the Edna Valley AVA. The vineyard is planted primarily to Chardonnay (63%) Pinot Noir (18%) Syrah (9%) Sauvignon Blanc (5%) and Pinot Gris (3%) but there are also an additional 10 varieties planted on the grounds including Albarino. This planting of Albariño (about 50 acres) represents the largest planting of this grape in North America. The vineyards within the Edna Valley Vineyard where Albariño has been planted are called Jack Ranch and Paragon Vineyard.We got 5 tons of fruit, and wound up making 100 cases and 100 kegs. The kegs are going out to the open market, but the bottles are just for us here in the tasting room. The wine has a beautiful peach and lime blossom characteristic, and soft round mouth feel. A hint of bitter almond on the end adds complexity and depth.
First in California and still getting better.
And of course who could forget the Marssanne and Roussanne. Although we don’t do a traditional Rhone white blend, our single varieties are expressive and clean. 2010 Marssanne has a touch of Roussanne (21%) blended in for acidity and richness. The varietal characteristic really comes through in the Marsanne with an orange peel and chalk note. The 2009 Roussanne is true to our style and as spectacular as always. A full body, with an intense but balanced oak characteristic complements the lean cutting acidity of the grape. Think lemon chiffon pie.
Our 9th Vintage of Roussanne
Be sure to grab tickets on the merchandise section of the shopping cart as the event space is limited to 30 people.