Lang & Reed Napa Valley Chenin Blanc 2018
The Lang & Reed 2018 Chenin Blanc – Napa Valley is almost a complete opposite from the previous vintage, yet it possesses some of the similar attributes, with peach skin and pear fruit that slowly waft from the glass with, as always, the necessary hint of honeycomb. On the palate, the aromas are clear and precise, with background fruit flavors and a touch of herb and linden. The texture is tightly wound at this stage, with deep flavors and saline minerality, which leads into brisk acidity, adding to the wine’s refreshing character. It will certainly blossom and gain in complexity with additional bottle time.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
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.
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.