Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Wine Wednesday with #L'Ecole Chenin Blanc

 I am very pleased to have been chosen as one of the Wine Ambassadors for L'Ecole No 41 Winery with Vineyards in Oregon and Washington.  Each month I am sent 2 bottles of the wine they are featuring in a Zoom meeting.  One is meant to be enjoyed during the meeting and the second is to be used in a food pairing. We are then asked to post an article about the wine and our impression and opinion of it.  We receive no monetary compensation and we are expected to be 100% honest with our writings. 

L'Ecole Chenin Blanc

This month we are sipping the 2020 Chenin Blanc Old Vines. I opened this bottle and poured myself a taste about an hour before the zoom session was to begin.  The wine pours a lemony yellow and it has some citrus notes but I caught more floral on the nose.  This wine is produced in Yakima Valley from old vines since 1987.  It retails for $17 which I think is a steal.  You can order it on the L'Ecole website and there is a discount on cases.

L'Ecole Chenin Blanc

My first sip of this wine had me yearning for a hot summer day in my pool lounger with a good book and a glass of this crisp, dry wine.  It is one of those wines that causes your mouth to water.  I'm sure there is a technical term for this. I know that acidity and astringency play a part.  This is one of the reasons I am so happy to have been chosen as a L'Ecole Ambassador.  The Zoom sessions are very informative and interesting.

Spaghetti al Limone

I started making dinner, while continuing to sip.  I was making Spaghetti al Limone and was a little concerned about this pairing.  I added extra cream and cheese to the pasta knowing that the extra fattiness would play well with the crisp, vibrant wine.

L'Ecole Chenin Blanc with Spaghetti al Limone

It was a surprisingly pleasant pairing.  I had garnished my pasta with long strips of lemon zest.  When we got a forkful that included this large amount of zest the wine suffered.  Lesson learned, I will serve Chenin Blanc with Spaghetti al Limone but next time I will leave off the garnish. Problem handled.

The theme for this month's wine was making everyday meals special with a wine that is a good value. This wine certainly fit the bill and made this simple Meatless Monday meal special indeed. 

We finished dinner, I poured a third glass of wine and went in to join in the Zoom session while my husband took over clean up duty.  There were quite a few of us joining in the session.  It is always fun to hook up with people that you talk to numerous times a month on social media but seldom get to see "in person".

Winemaker, Marcus Rafanelli, explained that he made this Chenin in the classic Vouvray style so no oak or any other wood was used in the production of this wine.  The grapes used for this wine were planted in 1978 and the Chenin made by L'Ecole was originally called "Walla Voila".  

The grapes are picked and transported early in the morning before the heat of the day arrives.  I was surprised to learn that this was Rafanelli's first time making a Chenin Blanc.  The wine has such depth and body that I had thought he had been working for years to develop such a well balanced result. This wine has an acidity level of 7.8, this explains the juiciness and the food friendliness that I noted earlier.

I will be sharing my recipe for Spaghetti al Limone later this month as well as my food pairing that I choose for the second bottle of Chenin Blanc that I am excited to enjoy.  One of our ambassadors, Linda of My Full Wine Glass, is taking her bottle on a hike today and pairing it with peanut butter sandwiches.  I can't wait to hear about that pairing.  If you would like to learn more about this wine and the pairings that our group is sharing you can find us by searching #L'Ecoleno41 on social media.

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