In certain areas of France and South Africa Chenin Blanc is widely planted and pretty highly regarded. And while it’s planted in many regions throughout the world it doesn’t get nearly as much acclaim anywhere else. In the US Dry Creek Vineyard has been making an excellent one for years that they do quite well with. There are certainly other producers in California, but the noteworthy examples are few and far between. Today I’m looking at one from Lucas & Lewellen. The 2008 Chenin Blanc from Lucas & Lewellen is produced from fruit sourced at the Los Alamos Vineyard; part of the Santa Barbara AVA. This offering is 100% varietal. This wine was cold fermented. 376 cases were produced and the suggested retail price for this offering is $20.
This Chenin Blanc has an abundance of floral notes in the nose along with orange blossom and hints of spice. Lychee fruit, pineapple and mango are all part of the bright, fruity palate along with sweet pear nectar and touches of honey. Gentle but lingering spice makes up the finish. This wine has good acidity and is well balanced.
What I like about this wine is the wealth of appealing ripe fruit flavors. This Chenin Blanc has touches and hints of sweetness but is far from a truly sweet wine. Those hints however add a lot to the appeal of this selection and drive the desire to keep going back to the glass for another sip. This offering is delicious on its own but has the complexity to stand up to a variety of foods. Chicken based, spicy, Indian dishes would be a particularly good match. A lovely wine, made for summer.