Aperture Chenin Blanc 2019
Originating from the rich clay loam soils of an old vine California chenin blanc site, this brightly lifted wine gives nuanced notes of quince, apple, and stone fruits with a weighted foundation provided by a delicate barrel influence. The site itself is in Clarksburg, and benefits from naturally warm days and brisk, cool nights made possible by the “Delta Breeze” from the San Francisco Bay. These temperate gusts help create a long growing season and beautifully developed fruit.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Old-vine Chenin Blanc is grown on rich clay loam in a coastal climate, defined by the Delta Breeze coming in from the San Francisco Bay. Aged for six months in half French oak (used) and half stainless steel, it’s glassy and glossy, with white flower–kissed pears and white peach. Linen, lanolin, and lilting notes of lime and melon are charmed by a touch of toast
Never mind the six million album covers around the world that feature Andy Katz’s photographs, or his dozen books of gorgeous photos that grace countless coffee tables around the country, or the many awards on his mantel earned from five decades of work around the world. It was all an excuse. An excuse to drink world class wine. To learn what it takes to make world class wine. And to spend time with his young son Jesse. Andy brought Jesse to the the most famous vineyards on earth, from the heart of Burgundy to the hills of Tuscany. He may not have admitted it at the time, but Andy’s gambit worked. Barely a decade later, Jesse is now one of the most exciting — and accomplished — winemakers in the world, recently gracing the cover of Wine Enthusiast as a rising young star who is doing nothing less than “changing the way the world drinks.” The son of a man who, through his photographs, changes the way the world sees wine. It’s a perfect combination. Jesse supplies the grapes, Andy supplies the images. And together they make wines worthy of their travels. Aperture. World class wines. Katz and Katz. A world class pairing.
The vineyards just inland from the Sacramento River Delta, along the deep banks of the Sacramento River, comprise the Clarksburg AVA. The River Delta channels in cold air and fog from the Pacific Ocean creating a cooling effect in this area. Warm summer days quickly change to chilly evenings and make a great environment for grape growing. While a range of grape varieties grow here, Chenin blanc stands out the most, distinguishing itself in the appellation.
The Clarksburg Wine Growers and Vintners Association, made up of nearly 50 grower members and over a dozen wineries, has been working since the late 1980s to promote the high quality wine of its region.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Somm Secret—Landing in South Africa in the mid 1800s, today the country has double the acreage of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. There is also a new wave of dedicated producers committed to restoring old Chenin vines.