Variety/Blend: Chenin Blanc + Viognier
Region: Napa Valley, CA
Recommended Pairing: The U2 album that was downloaded onto everyone’s phones.
Visiting a winery’s website can tell you a lot about a wine, both literally and in more unexpected ways. The page for this wine describes it as “unusual,” which tells me that the winemakers are “delusional.”
And look, I get that Chenin Blanc and Viognier is very much a New World kind of blend. But we’re not in France in the 1700s. This is a 2014 vintage from California. Calling this wine unique and experimental is equivalent to when Cher did Burlesque in 2010 to remind everyone how hip and cool she was.
It tastes like an unoaked Chardonnay. If you’re expecting anything else, you’ll be disappointed. The only real difference I perceived was something that reminded me of a Sauvignon Blanc — that faint tingling sensation on the tongue. And I really like that feeling in wines that are crisp and refreshing, but the Chenin made it too heavy. That light-on-your-toes daintiness was clearly a façade. Yet another way this wine is like Cher in Burlesque.
Now I love me some Viognier, but you have to be darn careful with it for it to work with other grapes. When it works, it works well, but this just felt sloppy. It’s trying to please everyone, and it lost its personality in the process. Like Gary Johnson. Fuck Gary Johnson.
So what should you, the reader, take away from this? If you’re going to do a comeback, do it right. Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t.
Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc and Viognier Blend: take some notes from Moscato circa 2011.
Cher: take some notes from Winona Ryder.
Gary Johnson: go away.