Since 1972, Dry Creek Vineyard has championed Chenin Blanc, a consistently popular wine known as Vouvray in the Loire Valley of France. Yet Chenin Blanc has not been a money-maker in California, and so many wineries have dropped out of the Chenin business. Not only is this wine, sourced from Sacramento Delta grapes, a splendid achievement, but its relatively inexpensive cost makes it a thorough, head-scratching bargain.
2011 Chenin Blanc, Dry Creek Vineyard, $12 srp
A fresh explosion of honeydew, tangerine and minerally oomph greets you. It's proof that a wine's bouquet can compete with, or top, any other natural scents - it screams pure joy. This drinks in a smooth fashion, with bumps of chalkiness, cheek-filling tangy citrus and a stony mouth-watering finish that lingers on and on. This is a great Chenin Blanc, better than any Vouvray at comparable price and, perhaps, the best I've ever tasted from Dry Creek. Bravo! Drink now-2013.