The Back Story:
I just had long, fulfilling day, early at work, tossing cardboard boxes off a truck, getting my wine(accessorized) affairs in order before I took an early weekend, then spending the afternoon wrestling with the DMV (not the people there… they were without a doubt the nicest people I’ve ever dealt with in a government capacity, I just have bad mojo when it comes to multiple choice tests on touch screens).
Once I got home, I broke into the remainder of a sub-$10 Italian Rosato, Vecchia Torre Leverano Rosato, to be exact. It was over 90 degrees outside, the house was warm, and that wine just didn’t hit the spot. I said in its review that it’s good for a warm spring or summer afternoon. When it’s that hot and humid, though, honest-to-god-I’m-sweating-just-from-opening-the-door-that’s-how-bad-it-is-hot, this wine doesn’t work.
Instead of making the effort to make a decision myself, I decided to leave it up to the Twitterverse. I offered up the choice between a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a Chablis, or a dry Chenin Blanc. The response came back 50/50 for the Sauv Blanc, Chenin Blanc. Becauce I’ve been on a Sauv Blanc tear recently, I went with the Chenin Blanc. I’m gonna have to say, thank you, Twitterverse.
The nose of the wine is fairly typical for a dry Chenin Blanc. It’s rather subdued, fruity, with a bit of alcohol heat. It has a fairly simple scent of honey, crisp green apple, and lime.
The mouth feel of the wine is a bit fuller than I expected, very creamy, with a tingling, lasting acidity.
The flavor of the wine mimics the nose, but fuller, smoother. The attack is very minerally, which fades into a nice apple and citrus. There’s also medium finish with a very pure flavor of ripe banana. The flavor is very, almost surprisingly soft, yet still tart. It’s dry, yes, but offset by enough residual sugar that it’s on the lower end of dry. It’s an interesting and sublime sensation, and that sensation goes with the flavor on the finish extremely, extremely well. I absolutely love the balance of this wine.
For the Casual Drinker:
This is a very pleasant, very flavor neutral kind of wine. The acidity and alcohol aren’t terribly prominent, which keeps the wine in balance with the subtle flavors and lack of sweetness. The apple, citrus, and tropical notes on the nose and palate are pretty suitable to most white wine enthusiasts, and the soft dryness will be more palatable to red wine drinkers. As far as food pairing, chicken, not too spicy, or pork, not too spicy. Grilling these meats outdoors with this wine just sounds like a winner to me.
As @jontroutman said as he answered my request, a dry Chenin Blanc “when done right, [is] one of the greatest wine pleasures.” While this isn’t the greatest Chenin Blanc I’ve had, it certainly hit the spot after a long, arduous day. That this one comes in at around $13 makes it all the sweeter. 7/10
P.S. Oh look, a screw-cap!