Pine Ridge Clarksburg Chenin Blanc Viognier
This 80-hectare estate was founded in 1978 when Gary Andrus planted the property's original vineyard in Stags Leap on a terraced hillside flanked by a ridge of pine trees. They now have vineyards across five sub-zones in Napa: four in the Stags Leap District, three in Rutherford, three in Carneros and one each in Howell Mountain and Oakville. This diversity gives winemaker Michael Beaulac many different blending options from which to choose each year, the results of which can be seen in the stunningly high quality of the wines they produce.
The Chenin Blanc comes from the Clarksburg appellation, referred to as the “Gem of the Delta”, which is over in the Sacramento river delta. This means that it is fairly warm with an almost constant breeze which helps to retain freshness and acidity in the grapes. The soils tend to be deep clay with excellent water holding capacity. The trellising is a bi-lateral cordon. The viognier is sourced from Lodi, which has a classic Mediterranean climate, with warm days and cool nights. The San Joaquin/Sacramento River delta provides cooling breezes.
2021 brought with it numerous challenges, as reduced rainfall in the region caused some issues – however without any extreme weather for the first time in years yields were back up and led to a brilliant harvest. The Chenin Blanc grapes were harvested at low sugar levels to ensure bright fruit character and low alcohol in the finished wine. In contrast, the Viognier from Lodi was picked at 24 degrees Brix to capture the floral and spicy nature of the variety, as well as the viscosity.
Crisp, bright, and lively, this wine boasts aromas of honeysuckle, orange blossom, nectarine, white peach, and ginger spice. On the palate, there are ripe fruit flavours of tangerine, lime, lemon curd alongside more herbal notes of lemongrass and ginger. It is medium-bodied, with refreshing acidity and a hint of lime on the long, round finish