2018 Chenin Blanc, Saini Farms, Dry Creek Valley

Release Date: Summer of 2019

Production: 546 Cases

Vineyard: After years of searching for just the right Chenin Blanc to work with, I found what I was looking for in the 38-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: The 2018 growing season produced another exceptional vintage, a wet spring followed by a mild summer allowed the grapes too mature slowly without heat stress. Though yields were above normal, quality was very good and the healthy canopies maintained a high acidity level. Further to preserve the high natural acidity that defines this wine, we hand picked our Saini Chenin Blanc on September 7th and 8th at 21.0 Brix.

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

Cellar Notes: 90% of the wine was transferred to neutral French oak, with the remaining 10% placed in a concrete egg, with both aged for five months on fine lees. The final wine was blended in tank in March.

Technical Notes:
Alcohol: 13.0%

pH: 3.38
Total Acid: 6.5 g/l

Malolactic Fermentation: 65%

Tasting Notes: This wine has alluring weight and richness, a silky texture and subtle aromas of Bosc pear, white pepper, chamomile, and lemon peel. The palate offers a medley of beeswax, lemon salt and almond notes that carry through to a lingering refreshing 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.