2016 Chenin Blanc "Peaberry" Mendocino County
Release Date: Summer 2017
Production: 125 cases
Vineyard: This wine comes from a vineyard located in the southeastern hills of Ukiah. Planted in the mid-1970s on a gentle slope in Pinole gravelly loam soils, the site’s old Chenin Blanc vines yield tiny, beautifully concentrated berries—thus the name Peaberry.
Harvest: Though yields were low and the harvest was early, the 2016 growing season produced another exceptional vintage. To preserve the high natural acidity that defines this wine, we picked our Peaberry Chenin Blanc on August 27 at 20.5° Brix.
Fermentation: To achieve a very pure and rustic expression of the vineyard, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed, and fermented and aged in concrete egg for five months using only spontaneous yeast.
Cellar Notes: This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered, and without the use of sulphur, in February of 2017.
Total acid: 7.3 g/l
Malolactic fermentation: 100%
Tasting Notes: This bone-dry wine displays lovely aromas of honeydew melon, buttermilk, pear and quince. The aromas are echoed on the palate, where they mingle with savory elements and notes of bright citrus. While a hint of creaminess on the midpalate helps to balance the acidity, this is a wine that is defined by its energy, nerve and focus.
Vision: In many ways, it is only fitting that the centerpiece of my winemaking efforts are Chenin Blancs. Steen is my family’s middle name, and it is also the South African word for Chenin Blanc. I have long been fascinated by this sleek and elegant varietal. Our Peaberry Chenin Blanc is my version of a natural wine. Picked at very low Brix, it is a rustic, low-alcohol expression of the grape that will pair beautifully with an array of cuisines.