Saturday, June 20, 2009

Discovering Chenin Blanc

One of the most enjoyable aspects of attempting this Odyssey is that we'll have to expose ourselves to all sorts of styles, varietals and areas in order to reach 2001 bottles on The List.

I liken our adventure in new wines and producers to the daily responsibilities of winemakers and growers - particularly in the newer wine producing areas of the world, such as BC. Just as we're finding out which wines and producers move us the most, part of the growing process for BC is to find out which grape varietals work best in the different areas that can produce wine in BC. The Northern Okanagan has growing conditions very different from Black Sage Road that vary from the Similkameen, all of which are a world away from conditions on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

We haven't drunk a lot of Inniskillin's wines over the years but there are a couple of aspects of the winery that I'm quite enamoured with - the first is that it is one of the few wineries that produce wines in both BC and in Ontario. The winery's Discovery Series is another facet of their approach that I like. Under this label, Inniskillin explores varietals that haven't been traditionally grown in the Okanagan.

80. 2005 Inniskillin Discovery Series Chenin Blanc (VQA - Okanagan)

Known primarily from South Africa and the Loire Valley in France, I find Chenin Blanc isn't all that well-known in BC - particularly when the grapes are actually grown in the province. Wikipedia lists over three dozen names that the grape is known as around the world. Seen largely as a fairly neutral grape, Chenin Blanc is adaptable to a great many set of growing conditions and flavour profiles.

Inniskillin's offering has always come across nicely to us in tastings - nice fruit, body, acidity. It's always been quite drinkable and versatile for simple glass of wine or for accompanying food. It's a great garden sipper. With the 2005 vintage, the vines were still fairly young and only 500 cases of the wine were produced. Production has been ramped up since then, but you still might have to hunt around a bit to find it. Luckily, it was still fresh enough to enjoy. We probably should have drunk this bottle a while back. I think it's worth another bottle or two down the road.

No comments:

Post a Comment