Chenin Blanc, ‘Mendocino’, Lang & Reed
This 2017 Chenin Blanc from Mendocino is the third vintage from the Norgard Vineyard in Mendocino County in Northern California! The inspiration remains the Loire Valley in France, where Chenin Blanc gained its fame. The source for this bottling comes from a region in Mendocino referred to as the ‘Talmage Bench.’ The vineyard, located on the east side of the Russian River in an area that has excelled in growing Chenin Blanc for many years, was planted in 1980 on a gentle, north-facing slope with excellent aspect that allows for great drainage and even ripening without too much heat accumulation.
This wines vilification is a collaborative effort between John and son, Reed. Reed has had his hand in making white wine on three continents – Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, Chardonnay in Napa Valley and Chenin Blanc in Chinon, France. For this wine, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed, left to settle for a day, and then transferred into 8 barrels, two of which were stainless steel and the balance being seasoned French oak. Half of the barrels were inoculated with selected yeast strains, while the other half were allowed to ferment on the indigenous yeast. The lees were stirred (battonage) bi-weekly until two weeks before bottling in early April. The final assemblage proved greater than any of the individual barrels.
Our Lang & Reed 2017 Chenin Blanc – Mendocino has a white peach flash of aroma that expands to include scents of fresh apple and linden blossom. The flavors are equally expressive, with peach and stone fruit flavors and a healthy hint of honeycomb. The finish is extremely brisk with keen acidity but yet with a lingering texture that bodes well for additional complexity with some cellar time. At this stage this is a perfect wine for spring afternoons and summer evenings, paired with light cheeses and summer fare as well as opened for gatherings of good friends.
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