This 2014 Chenin Blanc from Mendocino is the second vintage in Lang & Reed’s exploration of this wonderful grape! 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, is planted on a gentle, north-facing slope with excellent aspect that allows for great drainage and even ripening without too much heat accumulation.
Its vinification 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 10 barrels, two of which were stainless steel and the balance being seasoned French oak. Six of the barrels were inoculated with selected yeast strains, while four were allowed to ferment on the indigenous yeast. The lees were stirred (battonage) bi-weekly until two weeks before bottling in May. The final assemblage proved greater than any of the individual barrels..
Our Lang & Reed 2014 Chenin Blanc – Mendocino is blossoming into a wine of charm and substance. Peach and citrus perfumes play delicately above deeper vinous aromas of honeycomb wax. On the palate, the immediate richness of fruit is pleasantly balanced with refined acidity. Although eminently enjoyable as a cool, summer quaff, this thirst-quenching reward belies its potential for greater depth and complexity over time.
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