Saturday, August 20, 2011

Phenomenal White Wine

Pine Ridge 2010 Chenin Blanc + Viognier ($14)

If you didn't get it from the title this wine is quite tasty.  The wine is a pale lemon yellow with high clarity.  When I opened the screw cap (which I prefer for wines to be enjoyed young) my nose was tackled by grapefruit aromas.  In the glass, I experienced grapefruit, lemon, and some other vague citrus notes as well as a hint of minerality and slight floral notes.  The crispness of the Chenin Blanc is balanced by the slight oiliness of the Viognier yielding a light-medium bodied wine that seems slightly off dry.  The intensity of the flavors continues onto the palate where I was greeted with grapefruit, sweet honeydew melons, tropical notes, and a hint of spice possibly white pepper.  As the wine opens up it releases ginger and apple into the mix.  The crisp finish has a lingering white pepper and apple aftertaste that is almost reminiscent of fresh apple cider.  This bottle has a slight effervescence which I can see in the glass and feel on the tip of my tongue which helps bring out the fruit flavors.  I'm not sure if that is true of the whole bottling or just my bottle, I guess I'll just have to buy another bottle or 6 to be sure.

This is the second time I've had a Chenin Blanc/Viognier blend and I think this is my favorite white at the moment.  The first was Vinum which was also quite good.  I've always had a thing for Viognier with its stone fruit and tropical notes and the Chenin Blanc is such a great compliment with its crispness and minerality.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Napa Valley Wine Train

The wine train is a bit of a tourist trap, but can still be quite fun.

I would suggest buying tickets in advance because they do sell out.  There are afternoon and evening trains, we took an afternoon train.  You can purchase packages to get bused to a winery and have a 90 min tour and wine pairing for $120-$160.  (This surprised most people I talked to about the train.  Most people think you stop at wineries on the train ride, but you don't.  The train goes from Napa to St. Helena and back without any disembarking unless you purchase the packages.)