May 22, 2014
I've long thought that Chenin Blanc is a white grape variety that should do really well in the new world. Not as cheap, sweet, insipid white wine that we know from California jug wine.
Instead, as it can be when grow in the right places and farmed with the belief that it can produce quality wine. Wine that's rich but nervy, golden fruited and waxy, even honeyed. To my knowledge, there are still too few good examples. Perhaps I should make one.
I'm inspired by a wine like this, the 2012 Merriman Chenin Blanc The Brasher Block, from nearly 40-year-old vines outside of Yakima, WA.
It's deeply aromatic, with red apples, wool, herbs and wax scents. The flavors are rich, with yellow fruit, wax and bright acidity that dominates a bit but also carries the finish. The wine will need time to show its best, but it's electric now and already simply delicious.
I'd age this three to five years, or maybe a few more beyond that, and expect the intensity of the wine to unfurl on the clothesline-like acidity. Great job Merriman and my old bud Erik Brasher. I love this.