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Feb 2019

Satellite Wine Club, February 2019

Melaric - ‘Billes de Roche’ - Chenin Blanc - Saumur, Loire Valley, FR 2014

Roark Wine Co - Chenin Blanc - Santa Barbara County, CA 2017


This (short) month’s club is about the passage of time. The fleeting, blissful, traversal of moments; precious and yet tangibly insignificant. We age, we improve, we decay. This is the story of us! It is humanity, the world, and in today’s case: Chenin Blanc!

Chenin is one of the noble grape varietals. A legend, if you will. A grape pervasive through the modern history of wine, the great white grape of the Loire Valley, and one of the most versatile grapes in the world. Chenin is not nearly as well understood, respected, nor even known about as the other great white grapes of France. Sure, Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay, even Viognier & Riesling may have more name recognition, but I challenge anyone to find a white grape with more going on than Chenin Blanc. It is a grape with incredible potential for acidity, mouthfeel, phenolic (flavor) complexity, minerality, ageability, both freshness & development, and so much more. It can be made dry, sweet, sparkling, however you like it. It not only can be these things, it can be amongst the world’s greatest in every category. In the hands of great wine growers Chenin Blanc can be all that and a bag of chips. 

Chenin’s home is in the Loire Valley, the Garden of France. It exemplifies the potential of this region, with examples made far up the fertile river valley to the east and out to the mouth of the Loire on its frigid Atlantic coastline. The famous regions of Savenniere, Saumur, Montlouis, Touraine, and Anjou are the central heartland of Chenin, however, it has found home far afield. It may come as a surprise that Chenin Blanc is almost twice as widely planted in South Africa (where it’s called ‘Steen’) as it is in France! 

My goal for this month is to exemplify just how noble, exotic, versatile, and yet, familiar this varietal is. I want you to walk away from (the dramatic reading of) this writeup excited to tell all your friends that Chenin Blanc is your new favorite varietal, that it’s every bit as wonderful as Chardonnay, and that in your expert and well-considered opinion, it is France’s most brilliant response to German Riesling! I’m telling you once, I’m telling you twice, Chenin on your tongue is super nice. 

Melaric - ‘Billes de Roche’ - Chenin Blanc - Saumur, Loire Valley, FR 2014


Roark Wine Co - Chenin Blanc - Santa Barbara County, CA 2017

This is February at Satellite

**Oops, looks like this one got away from me! Anyhow, incredible wines this month... sad theyre gone now as I reflect in Jan 2023!**
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