This tantalizing bottling starts with a steely focus on the nose of lime pith, wet rocks and apple tonic. The tightly woven palate pops with flavors of chalk, crisp Asian pear and lime peel, riding a zesty acidity deep into the finish. This has to be one of the most unique and compelling Chenin Blancs being made in the United States.
Producer: Bill Wathen and Dick Doré have been making wine together since 1985, when they founded Foxen Winery at the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in northern Santa Barbara County. Their dedication has remained the same since the founding - the creation of very small-production, vineyard-designated wines using a "minimalist" approach to winemaking. Their focus is always on the grape as it arrives on the crush pad during harvest and to intervene as little as possible. Their methods include gentle de-stemming and pressing, neutral yeasts and barrels and no fining nor filtering of red wines. As Bill explains, "The job of the winegrower is to record the organoleptic history of the vineyard year in the bottle, with as little fingerprint as possible. If I can accomplish this each vintage, then I have rewarded myself.”
Vineyard and Winemaking: These grapes come from a 3-acre vineyard in the heart of the Santa Maria Bench that was planted more than 40 years ago. Situated in a wind-protected swale at the mouth of Tepesquet Canyon, it is named for Dick's great uncle, Ernesto Wickenden. The hand-harvested grapes are gently whole-cluster pressed. Fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks for approximately 45-60 days before then aging in neutral French oak for four months.
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