Made exclusively from grapes harvested in the Clarksburg, California region, Rendez-vous Winery prides itself in using local vines, and staying true to the sustainably, green Lodi certifications that they’ve come to earn.
Both the Chardonnay and the Chenin Blanc grow within a couple of miles of each other. Part of the Chenin was fermented with new toasted French Oak, and then immediately removed from further oak contact. This made a major difference in the texture and added an elegant softness to the wine, while still keeping it crisp and bright.
Just one year out of production, the Rendez-vous Chenin Blanc has already won a Silver Medal at the California State Fair in 2012. It stands up well to reasonably bold flavors and serves best chilled.
2011 Rendez-Vous Chenin Blanc – SRP $17
Having tried this varietal in the past, many assume chenin blanc is predominately sweet, but this was not the case here. The winemakers affinity for the grape has this summer white wine already on its way to a high quality, easy to pair favorite.
The Chenin Blanc color is a pale straw, with hints of green. The nose is fruity and slightly floral. Notes of crisp apple, pear, and bright, juicy peach are present, as well as tropical fruits and citrus. It is supple, fresh, and inviting. Malolactic fermentation was not confirmed, but appeared to be present. The toasted oak fermentation process added certainly did soften the wine, creating a perfect palette for pairings like salads, lighter Asian fare, and poultry dishes.
We paired this wine with a maple mustard glazed breast of chicken, fresh snap peas and red potatoes. A peach and blueberry crisp for dessert would be a perfect match to the Rendez-vous, as would fresh fruits as well as a creamy Brie or soft sheep’s milk cheese.
The Chardonnay is also fermented with new toasted French Oak and then continued for another 4 months before being removed. It has been put through malolactic fermentation. The color is pale straw-unique for a chardonnay.
Initial notes are soft and very slightly buttery, with banana, and vanilla on the palate. Unmistakably present is notes of pineapple, toasted coconut, and caramel, that almost hints toward sweetness, but then brings you back with acidity typical to chardonnay grapes. Overall, this wine is very balanced, not overly ‘woody’ as some chardonnays can be.
The 2011 Rendez-vous Chardonnay has just been awarded a Silver Medal at the Consumer Wine Awards in Lodi, and Larry tells us it is a hit in his tasting room.
If you can’t tell already, this is a tropical food ready wine. Enjoy pineapple glazed shrimp on the grill, mango chicken, a nectarine tart, or simple fruit salad for dessert. Drink now through 2015.
You can find Rendez-Vous wines at 35265 Willow Ave, Clarksburg, CA 95612, or Rendez-VousWinery.com.