2016 Chenin Blanc, Saini Farms, Dry Creek Valley

Release Date: Fall 2017

Production: 728 Cases

Vineyard: After years of searching for just the right Chenin Blanc to work with, I found what I was looking for in the 36-year-old vines of Saini Farms in Dry Creek Valley. Planted in Yolo sandy loam soils on an old river bottom site, these dry-farmed vines produce grapes that capture the fresh, enticing purity that can be achieved when Chenin Blanc is grown with care and respect.

Harvest: Though drought conditions continued in 2016, these dry-farmed vines produced a average yield with ripeness at low sugar. We hand harvested our Chenin Blanc on August 25 and 26th at 20.5 Brix with its signature high acidity. 

Fermentation: After gently breaking the berries, the grapes underwent 2 to 3 hours of skin contact prior to pressing. The wine was fermented cool in stainless steel using indigenous yeast for approximately one month until complete dryness.

Cellar Notes: 80% of the wine was transferred to neutral French oak, with the remaining 20% placed in a concrete egg, with both aged for four months on fine lees. The final wine was blended in tank in mid-January.

Technical Notes:
Alcohol: 12.5
H: 3.40
Total acid: 6.2g/l
Malolactic Fermentation: 100%

Tasting Notes: This wine has alluring weight and richness, a silky texture and subtle aromas of Chamomile, green apple, quince, lemon verbena and white flowers. The palate offers a medley of herbal and tea notes, as well as hints of wet riverstone minerality that carries through to a lingering almost salty finish.

Vision: In many ways, it is only fitting that the centerpiece of my winemaking efforts is a bone-dry Chenin Blanc. 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. To make this wine, I sought out the oldest Chenin Blanc vines in Dry Creek Valley. In the winery, I strive to be true to the varietal and craft a fresh, lively wine with the ability to complement an array of modern cuisine.