Saturday, April 9, 2011

No blush here.

At some point in Napa's winemaking history, Chenin blanc (CB) was the valley's most widely produced wine. Historical records show that Charles Krug produced a CB back in 1861, when he finally founded his own winery after making several vintages at John Patchett's winery.
I do love a nice CB, but don't get to drink it as often as I might like. Truth is, nowadays it's not that it's hard to find a good CB, it's hard to find one at all...that's why the most recent CB I had was from Washington State.
What struck me initially about this wine was the strong whiff of burnt matchstick (sulphur dioxide, perhaps) upon twisting open the screw cap, but this quickly dissipated. Whilst this wine was certainly no Vouvray, it was pleasant in it's own honey-citrus kind of way.
In full disclosure, I was given this wine by somebody who knows the lady on the label. Whilst her name, I'm assured, is actually Chenin, she doesn't happen to look very shy to me.

7 comments:

Affer said...

I wonder if they do a Rampant Riesling?

Do Bianchi said...

when I was in Friuli in February, a winemaker talked to me about how he uses less S02 when bottling screw caps. Your tasting note makes me think that this winemaker didn't compensate for the new enclosure? Would love to hear your thoughts on this issue Vinogirl! Great post... as always...

Vinogirl said...

Affer: If they don't, they should.

2B: It may not be the amount of free SO2 at bottling that's the problem(different creature altogether) but more to do with yeast scavenging nitrogen from other sources during fermentation, thus producing volatile sulphur compounds. The winemaker can monitor the musts YAN level but, inevitably, cannot fully avoid these compounds from forming.
Different types of screwcaps allow for different rates of oxygen transmission (reduction - oxygen is excluded), but ultimately all closures can modify the flavour of wine to some degree.

Thomas said...

Yes, using less SO2 is a method, but as Vinogirl points out, there are other possibilities for sulfur compounds, although she spells the word with a ph and I don't ;)

It's best to take blanket winemaker comments concerning sulfur dioxide additions with a grain of sodium chloride.

Thud said...

Thomas...VG and myself work on the principle of who invents the word gets to spell it, so any Americanisms would be rendered in their original....Little Englanders us.

Vinogirl said...

Thomas & Thud: Purely selfish...'ph' means more points in Scrabble!

Thomas said...

Oh, I can imagine the argument at the scrabble board, especially with all those "ou" constructions where a simple "o" will do.