Pine Ridge CB+V Chenin Blanc - Viognier 2017
Crisp, bright, and vivacious, CB+V is an aromatic white blend boasting a bouquet of honeysuckle, citrus, tropical fruit, and fresh cut herbs. The bright entry reveals citrus and other fruit flavors, and a balanced acidity carries through the clean finish.
Blend: 83% Chenin Blanc, 17% Viognier
#80 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 of 2018
Blending Chenin Blanc with Viognier—it was just an experiment. Until it was tasted and it was realized CB+V was a masterpiece. Together, they deliver a unique tapestry of flavors and aromas that are elegant and easy to enjoy. The Chenin Blanc hails from Clarksburg, which is located in the Sacramento River Delta. This locale experiences temperatures in excess of 90° during the day but a much cooler climate in the evening. This kind of differential creates ideal ripening conditions where the fruit can develop lush, ripe flavors but retain enough natural acidity for excellent balance. Here, the loamy mineral rich soils give Chenin Blanc a “honey” character, which is one of its defining characteristics. Southeast of Clarksburg is Lodi, where the Viognier is grown. Lodi experiences a Mediterranean climate, and because of ancient river sediment, the vineyards contain large stones similar to those found in France’s Rhone Valley, the original home of Viognier. This versatile wine pairs well with a number of dishes, from light salads to seafood, and most notably with foods with a hint of spiciness—its subtle sweetness provides balance alongside a touch of heat. It’s the perfect pour for the start of an evening with appetizers or a platter of salumi. Also try Chenin Blanc + Viognier with a flavorful Thai curry, a frittata with sweet onions and ricotta, or a shrimp and avocado tostada. For a perfect cheese pairing, enjoy CB+V with a dense, lemony goat’s milk French Chabichou du Poitou.
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.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.