Paul Vandenberg’s trademarked “Zero Pesticide Vineyard” approach to his organic estate can be viewed as innovative in today’s New World standards, but it also can be viewed as traditional or throwback – much as his winemaking style with his estate in the Yakima Valley. His Séve project is a compelling example, starting with old plantings of underappreciated Chenin Blanc and the use of 20-year-old barrels. “We may actually have some of the newest Chenin Blanc — planted 2010 — since people have been pulling it since 1990,” Vandenberg says. The nose of this tribute to the Loire Valley variety is perfumy with lemon blossom, seashells, pea pods and delicate oak. There’s enchanting finesse on the palate too with its pleasant texture of kiwi fruit, jicama and lime zest, a combination capped by pear skin and melon. The deliciously juicy finish lends itself to Vandenberg’s suggestions of spicy Thai-style peanut sauce, fish, chicken or pasta salad.
Rating: Outstanding! — 91 points
Production: 94 cases