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Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier

Napa Valley, California

Pine Ridge

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 been seen in the stunningly high quality of the wines they produce.

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Vineyards

The grapes come from Clarksburg which is over in the Sacremento 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 bi-lateral cordon.

Vintage information

The annual harvest in Clarksburg arrived about two weeks early in 2013, due to significant summer heat spikes and an overall dry growing season. While the 2012 harvest was the second largest in Californian history, the crop size this year was only slightly above average. With grapes getting picked earlier, there was low risk of fruit being damaged by autumn rains. Healthy Chenin Blanc and Viognier had good sugar levels upon reaching the winery.

Vinification

The grapes were destemmed and the berries crushed upon arrival at the winery. The free run juice was combined with the press fraction to increase mouth feel. Two different types of yeast were used to add complexity and aromatics. Fermentation was cool at about 13ºC. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks without malolactic fermentation in order to retain the pure varietal fruit character in the final wine.

Tasting Notes

Brilliant and refreshing, this bursts with an array of delightful aromas, opening with fresh lemon, juicy honeydew melon, pomelo and sweet mango, complemented by soft orange blossom. The palate is crisp and mouth-watering, leading with luscious papaya, yellow pear and ruby grapefruit flavours that are balanced by hints of sweet tangerine and white tea. The juicy fruit flavours linger through the clean and lively finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2013
Grape varieties 80% Chenin Blanc
20% Viognier
Region Napa Valley, California
Winemaker Michael Beaulac
Alcohol (ABV) 12.5%