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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Wine Review: Dane Cellars Buddah's Dharma Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2016

Dane Cellars Buddahs' Dharma Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2016

Bart Hansen is the founder and winemaker of Dane Cellars and just from the brief conversation I had with him over the phone two years ago I could tell he's just one hell of a guy. Funny, open, honest, and kind, with a big heart full of passion and love. Bart started off in the industry during harvest; trucking grapes from the vineyard down a hill, five tons at a time. In 1986 he started winemaking for Kenwood, and then hopped over to Benziger in 1998. But he left Benziger to become a stay at home dad to his son Dane. And when he felt like he needed to get back in the game, he founded Dane Cellars in 2007.

You can read all the reviews I've written on Bart's wine under the Dane Cellars label for the blog, but this time I'm reviewing his 2016 Valeria2016 Chenin Blanc2016 Zinfandel, and 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. (PS: I still have a bottle of his 2012 Justi Creek Cabernet Sauvignon that I'm waiting to open on a special occasion and can't wait to see how it evolved)

This is 100% Chenin Blanc from the Buddah's Dharma Vineyard in Mendocino County that was whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless steel, and aged in stainless steel, French oak, and concrete barrels, and saw time on the lees for about five months. Only 175 cases were made and it has a final ABV of  13.1%.

Django ReinhardtYou wanna know what music I'm listening to while writing this review? Do you really want to know? Django Reinhardt. Yup. Never heard of him? Neither did I until I was discussing ancestry with a lovely elderly customer of mine and I mentioned that my grandmother was an Avellino gypsy, and she told me that I should listen to some gypsy jazz by Django Reinhardt. So I did. Wow, what a guitarist! And I can't believe how many songs that I actually know by this guy that I didn't know was his. You all know "Daphne". Trust me, you do. Give Django a listen via my music selection playlist on my YouTube channel.

Let's drink some Mendocino Chenin Blanc, shall we? 

The color of the wine is a light gold. The first thing to burst down your olfactory on the nose is honey, followed by apricots, wool, and freshly chipped cobblestone. If that isn't a perfect example of textbook Chenin Blanc aromas then I don't know what is. However, I swear I'm getting some banana on there too. Or maybe I'm just crazy. On the palate it's medium bodied with pleasantly rounded mouthfeel and moderate acidity. There's flavors of apricots, banana, honey, bell pepper, white pepper, and a bucket full of freshly chipped cobblestone. Then it finishes with apricots, bell pepper, and that freshly chipped cobblestone minerality continues on.

This is the first white wine that I've had by Dane Cellars and it is just a joy to drink. For $28 you will not be disappointed in your purchase. I definitely recommend it!

Price: $28
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was provided free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

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