Wine: Chenin blanc
California chenin blanc is “getting more interesting all the time,” said Patrick Comiskey in the Los Angeles Times. A clutch of winemakers, intrigued by the “bracing, anti-Chardonnay vibe” of a previously neglected grape, are experimenting with picking times and getting the most out of “characterful” old vines. The result: domestic whites “as pure and electric” as any you’ll find. 2014 Sandlands Amador County ($24). This Napa Valley chenin has a Meyer lemon aroma and a core “like a wedge of Bosc pear, lightly salted.”2015 Habit Chenin Blanc ($30). The grapes hail from Santa Ynez Valley’s Jurassic Park Vineyard, yielding “citrusy, stony” flavors. 2014 LoFi Chenin Blanc ($26). Working the same vineyard, winemaker Mike Roth combines two pickings in his chenin, “the first to give it nerve and acidity,” the later, riper one for presence and richness.