Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2018
Columbia Valley, Washington, $24.99
2018 is the sixth vintage of my old vine chenin – it is a blend of three different heritage vineyards from Washington’s Columbia Valley. I wanted to make a dry minerally white wine to drink with the seafood and shellfish of the Pacific Northwest.
Rothrock vineyard in Prosser is a south facing site, 855 feet above sea level with a 15% slope. The shallow topsoil is very fine sand and silt loam on top of basalt bedrock. This vineyard in the Yakima Valley was planted with chenin blanc in the 1970s. I’ve been making wine from Rothrock since I first started this old vine Chenin project in 2013.
Upland vineyard on Snipes Mountain in Sunnyside is farmed by the Newhouse family. Their parcel of chenin blanc was planted in 1979 on a 25% slope, 1,000 ft elevation, facing southwest with a stunning view of Mt. Adams.
The chenin blanc block at Roza Hills vineyard in Zillah was planted in 1982. It’s on a south facing slope of the Rattlesnake Hills, 1200 feet at the highest point on Moxee series soils which is fine silt loam with chunks of decomposed basalt on top a hard layer of calcium carbonate called caliche.
My chenin blanc is always hand picked and whole cluster pressed. The nuanced dynamics of slow native yeast fermentations add complexity. In the spring, the wines from the three vineyard lots are blended together, lightly fined with bentonite clay and sterile filtered before bottling. This year I switched to TCA free DIAM corks with no tin capsule. My bottle is domestically produced from a Seattle glass factory.