Wine Buzz: Clarksburg Wine Co. chenin blanc earns honor

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3D

Some Sacramento-area wine enthusiasts made a case in 2012 that chenin blanc should be Sacramento's signature grape. While this white wine grape is best known as a signature varietal of France's Loire Valley, chenin blanc has been planted for decades in Clarksburg and is a hallmark of the Sacramento Delta.

That chenin blanc campaign recently received some bolstering from the San Francisco Chronicle's "Top 100 Wines" feature, which included Clarksburg Wine Co. 2010 VS Clarksburg Chenin Blanc among its picks.

"Clarksburg, in the Sacramento delta, is California's ground zero for this grape," wrote Jon Bonne, the Chronicle's wine editor. "(T)his local company has created a range of outstanding versions."

That same wine was a standout during a September tasting of local chenin blanc organized by Green Restaurants Alliance Sacramento. While many chenin blancs are noted for their fruity, pineapple-driven expressions, this offering from Clarksburg Wine Co. was noted for its drier style with honey overtones. It sells for $24.

This "Vouvray" bottling, which references the Loire Valley, is one of three different chenin blancs crafted by Clarksburg Wine Co. If you feel like giving them a spin, stop by the winery's tasting room at the Old Sugar Mill, 35265 Willow Ave., Clarksburg.

Meanwhile, many local offerings fared well in the Chronicle's "Top 100 Wines." Some came from local producers, while others were wineries from outside the greater Sacramento region that sourced particular grapes from this area.

Here are other wines that made the cut – look for them when you're in the market for a bottle.

• Bokisch Vineyards 2010 Clements Hills-Lodi Garnacha

• Skinner 2010 El Dorado Grenache

• La Clarine Farm 2011 Cedarville Sierra Foothills Mourvedre

• Edmunds St. John 2011 Bone-Jolly El Dorado County Gamay Noir

• McCay Cellars 2009 Jupiter Lodi Zinfandel

• Donkey & Goat 2011 Sluice Box El Dorado White

• Holly's Hill 2011 El Dorado Viognier

• Mark Herold Wines 2011 Acha Blanca California Albarino

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