Lang & Reed 2016 Chenin Blanc
This 2016 Chenin Blanc from Mendocino is the third vintage from the Norgard Vineyard in Mendocino County in Northern California! The inspiration remains the Loire Valley in France, where Chenin Blanc gained its fame. The source for this bottling comes from a region in Mendocino referred to as the ‘Talmage Bench.’ The vineyard, located on the east side of the Russian River in an area that has excelled in growing Chenin Blanc for many years, was planted in 1980 on a gentle, north-facing slope with excellent aspect that allows for great drainage and even ripening without too much heat accumulation.
This wines vilification is a collaborative effort between John and son, Reed. Reed has had his hand in making white wine on three continents - Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, Chardonnay in Napa Valley and Chenin Blanc in Chinon, France. For this wine, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed, left to settle for a day, and then transferred into 8 barrels, two of which were stainless steel and the balance being seasoned French oak. Half of the barrels were inoculated with selected yeast strains, while the other half were allowed to ferment on the indigenous yeast. The lees were stirred (battonage) bi- weekly until two weeks before bottling in early April. The final assemblage proved greater than any of the individual barrels.
Lang & Reed 2016 Chenin Blanc – Mendocino is an aromatic joy of spring citrus blossom with touches of honeycomb wax. The fruit on the palate is bright tropical fruit with apple and quince supporting the rich and quenching flavors. There is a tender nature to the wine’s middle and finishing palate that is nicely supported with brisk acidity. If by chance, a couple bottles are lost in the cellar, it will serve well for at least two to three more years, gaining in depth and nuance through bottle aging.