This Old Vine Chenin Blanc is grown by father and son duo of Rob and Justin Andrews from McKinley Springs Vineyard. Nestled in the heart of the Horse Heaven Hills, this one-of-a-kind Chenin was planted in 1981 and still yields beautifully, around 3 - 3.5 tons per acre. Deeply rooted in the Warden silt loam soils around 945 feet in elevation, these vines produce an intriguing wine with plenty of substance and character. I prefer picking 15% of the fruit a little “green” or under-ripe to retain vibrancy and lively acidity, where the majority of the riper fruit will deliver intense tropical characteristics.
Cool and slow fermentation in stainless steel resulted in bright, fruit-forward notes in the bottle, which mirrors the new-world style. It is complemented well by the rich and creaminess of approximately 20% malolactic fermentation in French oak, similar to the old-world. In blending these two styles we achieve balance and finesse.
Our own version of this unique “Steen” (the Afrikaans word for stone, which refers to the heartiness of the Chenin Blanc vines) exhibits noticeable hints of over-ripe pineapple, canned pear and dried guava. It reveals notes of warm oak and wet stone, accompanied by fresh herbal aromas of sage, tarragon and santolina. This is one of the most versatile wines from the 2018 vintage aromatically, showcasing fruit-driven mineral and herbal nuances. The mouth-watering palate is round and viscous, with prominent stone fruit flavors lingering until the finish. The sweetness in the mid-palate is well framed by savory minerality and bright acidity in the finish. This Chenin will be a favorite on a hot summer’s day on the patio, but will draw even more attention when paired with oysters, grilled chicken kabobs, lobster tail and Humboldt Fog cheese. Cheers!
100% Chenin Blanc
Horse Heaven Hills
20% Neutral French
2901 Old Milton Hwy
Walla Walla, WA 99362
15029 Woodinville-Redmond Rd #400
Woodinville, WA 98072
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