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Lang & Reed Napa Valley Chenin Blanc 2016

Chenin Blanc from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
  • TP93
  • WE93
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • WW91
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Winemaker Notes

The Lang & Reed Chenin Blanc – Napa Valley has peach and tropical fruit that are immediately on the nose, with the necessary hint of honeycomb (the traditional varietal character), and a lesser expression of apple and citrus. On the palate, the aromas are mirrored and given an even stronger presence with yellow apple exotic citrus notes, which give it anaccurate tartness. The texture is tender, and the flavors broaden with a touch of saline minerality, which leads into bright crisp acidity, adding to the wine’s refreshing character. It will blossom and gain in complexity with additional bottle time.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 93
Tasting Panel
This special wine is made up of 100% Oak Knoll fruit -- still a rare variety for the Napa Valley, where only 14 acres are planted to Chenin Blanc. Lanolin and white flowers consume the nose; the result is so fragrant and pretty, one might hesitate to take the first sip. Fresh butter makes for a creamy palate (much lees-stirring took place!). There's also an undercoat of slate and a searing, tight acidity, but 13% ABV keeps it a fresh-tasting easy-drinker.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This is 100% varietal and entirely from grapes grown in the Oak Knoll District, a cooler section of the valley. Aged minimally in both French oak and stainless steel the wine is noteworthy for its crispness and fleshy texture. Peach and apricot figure prominently alongside honey oak and a tease of salty brine. This is one of Napa’s classic whites for good reason
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Lang & Reed

Lang & Reed

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Lang & Reed, California
John and Tracey Skupny have spent most of their adult lives involved with wine and wineries. Their love affair with wines has finally resulted in the creation of their own venture ("At last!" - as many of their friends would say.). Through connections built up over decades, John has been able to source prime vineyards for what are arguably the best examples, to date, of Napa Valley Cabernet Franc. With vineyard sources as diverse as Calistoga , Atlas Peak, Rutherford and St. Helena, the Skupnys have given us wines that delight the palate.
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Oak Knoll District

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As one of Napa’s coolest sub-appellations, the area begs for diversity among its vineyards. Merlot and Chardonnay firmly compete with Cabernet Sauvignon for a place here. Some of Napa’s best Zinfandels also come from the Oak Knoll District.

Situated far in Napa’s southern end, Oak Knoll receives a strong cooling influence from both the San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Coast’s evening fog and breezes. Summer days are warm but on average ten degrees cooler than in St. Helena farther north up the valley; summer nights are chilly. A long growing season promotes for leisurely ripening of grape berries, resulting in an impressive balance of sugars, phenols and acidity.

Notable producers include Trefethen, one of the appellation’s oldest wineries, Robert Biale, legendary Zinfandel producer and Lewis Cellars, a family-run, hands-on establishment.

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Chenin Blanc

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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. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for its Chenin.

In the Glass

Chenin's drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.

Sommelier Secret

South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.

FBR120709_2016 Item# 256445