Friday, July 15, 2011

L’Ecole Nº 41 Chenin Blanc - 2010

Chenin Blanc is a white grape with origins from the Loire Valley of France. It is known for it's high acidity and because of the acidity, it is the very reason why I think it makes such a perfect wine for summer and especially paired with foods year 'round.

Chenin Blanc is not a wine that you see a lot of around the state of Washington, however there has been one winery in the state who has been consistent with producing this lovely light and refreshing wine from almost the day they first opened their doors.

L’Ecole Nº 41 has produced this old vine, "Vouvray" style (more "off-dry") Chenin Blanc since 1987. Jean Ferguson, L’Ecole Nº 41’s founder and winemaker, loved this wine and crafted her version of Vouvray through cold fermentation to enhance the fruity and floral esters. Not only does L'Ecole have a long history in Washington with Chenin Blanc, but the grapes they source for their Chenin Blanc also has a history as the Willard Family Farms of Rattle Snake Hills AVA near Prosser and the Phil Church Vineyard of the Yakima Valley AVA near Sunnyside, were both planted in 1979.

To describe sipping on the 2010 L’Ecole Nº 41 Chenin Blanc, think thirst-quenching. Kind of like a "adult" lemonade with floral notes. The acids in this wine are vibrant along with flavors of orchard fruit such as crisp Granny Smith apples and fresh picked apricots. Notes of sweet and mild ruby red grapefruit leaves a pucker here and there while still leaving a very light sweet finish, never cloying, in your mouth. And the nose is something you would like to dab behind your ear with influences of the exotic such as Asian pear, honeysuckle and orange blossoms.

It's truly a wine to quench your thirst during these warm summer days and to continue sipping in the cool evenings paired with food such as with spicy Thai, seafood fajitas, Jerk chicken and summer salads, including fresh fruit salads. Sante!

2 comments:

James Stripes said...

Would you recommend this wine as an accompaniment for gazpacho?

Catie said...

Good question. I certainly would give it a try. Typically acidic wines pair well with acidic foods and as light as each are in substance, I think neither gazpacho nor chenin blanc will get in the way of each other. The L'Ecole Chenin Blanc is very bright in acids. Let me know your findings.