Austin Hope Chenin Blanc 2020
Our Chenin Blanc is a rich expression that begins with lush notes of honey and stone fruit, on the palate those flavors develop with the influence of vanilla bean, apricot and a hint of tropical mango. The finish is lush with a touch of acidity and clean minerality.
Vineyard Notes: The 2020 growing season and harvest was near normal in some ways and very unusual in others. Rainfall was 12% below average with the bulk of the storms occurring in early winter and early spring. Spring frost threats were mild. Vine growth and berry development was normal through spring. Then, Summer brought relentless heatwaves that lasted for days at a time. Wildfires began erupting throughout the state and the region was inundated with smoke from fires burning both to the north and south of Paso Robles from early August through the end of September. The heat pattern pushed maturities quickly. Harvest timing tracked as normal. Yields were down by 20% but initial and thorough testing showed no damage from the smoke and very promising quality.
Winemaker Notes: After harvesting the 50+ year old vines, grapes for the Austin Hope Chenin Blanc were whole-cluster pressed into stainless steel tanks for settling. The juice was then racked off its heavy lees into barrels and tanks for fermentation 70% of the juice was barrel fermented in a mix of new, one to two time used and neutral barrels, while the other 30% was fermented in stainless steel. The barrel fermented portion saw 4 months of sur-lie aging and during the first three months, the barrels were stirred monthly to add to the creamy nature of the wine. After the final blend was assembled, the wine was gently crossflow filtered before bottling.