Pine Ridge Vineyards is a prominent Napa Valley winery. Best known for its range of red wines, particularly its Cabernet Sauvignons, many of them sell for $100 or more. But on the other end of the spectrum is a $16, widely available white wine that has also put Pine Ridge on the map: its Chenin Blanc + Viognier White Blend.
I have tasted many vintages of Pine Ridge’s Chenin Blanc + Viognier White Blend, and the 2019 release lives up to the expectation for this wine as one of the top California white wine values. As the name suggests, the wine is made from two grapes not usually associated with Napa. In fact, the Chenin Blanc, which accounts for most of the blend, is from the Clarksburg appellation not far from Sacramento, and the Viognier is from Lodi, slightly to the south in the Central Valley. The appellations are gaining reputations for these lesser-known but important varieties.
Made without oak, the Chenin Blanc + Viognier is marked by a winning combination of fruit and floral notes, including white peach, green apple, grapefruit, and lime, with hints of white flowers. It’s ever so slightly off-dry, meaning that it will pair well with spicy foods among many others. Try it with everything from fish to salads, sushi, and a range of appetizers.
I also like that its alcohol is a moderate 12.5 percent, which is something of a rarity among California wines, and makes it easy to go back for that second glass. It’s the perfect wine for casual drinking — consistent, delicious, and deserving of a place in your cellar (or fridge) for everyday enjoyment in the summer months and beyond.
Published: August 27, 2020