2016 White Elephant, White Blend, California
n. 1. A rare, expensive possession that is a financial burden to maintain. 2. An uncommon whitish or light-gray form of the Asia elephant, often regarded with special venerations. 3. A unique California white wine made from a blend of 58% Chenin Blanc, 32% Viognier and 10% Roussanne, which are barrel fermented in French Oak and aged Sur Lies for 9 months. Its cool climate pedigree stretches from Clarksburg, through San Benito to Santa Barbara County.
Medium straw color which is evidence of its careful French oak barrel fermentation. The aromas display tropical top notes from the Clarksburg Chenin Blanc such as mango and lychee, but then is backed by apricot and clove courtesy of the Paso Robles Viognier. The palate has a slight toasted oak note and then becomes slightly creamy while opening up with its ample acidity (again from the Clarksburg Chenin Blanc), but then shows the pear grit and pure minerality from the Paso Robles Roussanne. This complex blend was crafted to deliver a world class, food friendly wine and a new world tribute to the Loire Valley. California doesn't share the same terroir, but the non-traditional varietals we combine with the Chenin Blanc reminds us of the best of Vouvray.
The wine has a long and elegant finish and is ideal with fresh oysters on the half shell and pairs well with fresh cracked crab or crab cakes, grilled fish, sea scallops or chicken korma, a mildly spicy almond chicken curry (Indian), and goes nicely with grilled wild Salmon with sweet potatoes and baked organic asparagus.
90 PTS, Wine Spectator
"Ripe peach, apricot and pear flavors are rich and unctuous, with toasted spice, vanilla bean and honeysuckle accents. Crisp acidity leads to a fresh finish. Chenin Blanc, Vigonier and Roussanne. Drink now. 500 cases made." - M.W.