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Roark Wine Co. Chenin Blanc 2016

Chenin Blanc from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    11.3% ABV
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    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    11.3% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The same wine making and aging techniques Roark Wine Co. has used since 2013 have been applied to this fruit from Curtis Estate. Gentle pressing, overnight settling, then sent to barrel for fermentation. 8 months of aging in neutral oak and stainless steel barrels. Bracing, fresh acidity balanced by body and texture.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Roark Wine Co.

    Roark Wine Co.

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    Roark Wine Co., Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    Roark Wine Co. was founded in 2009 by Ryan Roark. RWC focuses on making small batch wines that showcase variety, vintage, and place. To best represent each harvest, they make their wine as unadulterated as possible: in neutral vessels, with all native fermentation, and no additions apart from a minimal amount of sulfur.

    Ryan started his journey with a fascination for farming; he studied plant pathology and microbiology at Texas A&M where he was able to take part in an agricultural exchange program that placed him with a small family-owned winery located in the Loire Valley. There he worked the land and learned the skills that he would take with him throughout France, New Zealand, and California .

    What began as a 100 case Chenin Blanc project has evolved into a small grape growing and winemaking operation. Ryan and his small team farm a handful of vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County while also sourcing grapes from trusted growers to produce about 1,500 cases of wine per year.

    Santa Ynez Valley

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    Ranging from cool and foggy in the west to warm and dry in the east, the Santa Ynez Valley is a climatically diverse growing area. The most expansive AVA within the larger Santa Barbara County region, Santa Ynez is also home to a wide variety of soil types and geographical features. The appellation is further divided into four distinct sub-AVAs—Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon—each with its own defining characteristics.

    A wide selection of grapes is planted here—more than sixty different varieties, and counting. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in the chilly west, while Zinfandel, Rhône blends, and Bordeaux blends rule the arid east. Syrah is successful at both ends of the valley, with a lean and peppery, Old-World sensibility closer to the coast and lush berry fruit further inland.

    Chenin Blanc

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    Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is planted in California, namely in the Clarksburg AVA but also very widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen.”

    In the Glass

    Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

    Sommelier Secret

    There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

    RVLRJ16CB_2016 Item# 355005