Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Lang & Reed 2022 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc

Heading to dinner with friends, I was asked to bring a bottle of wine. I wanted a versatile wine that would go with a variety of dishes so I grabbed a Chenin Blanc. I thought it would be the perfect wine with texture, body, and acidity so that it could stand up to richer dishes and not overwhelm light dishes. And it did just that. That is why the Lang & Reed 2022 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc is the Please The Palate wine of the week.

Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Lang & Reed 2022 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc

About Lang & Reed

Lang & Reed, owned by John and Tracy Skupny, is based in Napa Valley. In a region where Cabernet Sauvignon dominates, Lang & Reed specializes in 100% Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. John and Tracy Skupny were focused on producing Cabernet Franc until their son Reed and his wife Megan inspired them to try making Chenin Blanc. They made their first vintage of Chenin Blanc in 2013 and sourced fruit from Mendocino County. But they also started making a Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley.

Interestingly, Chenin Blanc was one of the most widely planted white grapes in Napa more than a generation ago. In fact, in the 1980s, there was more Chenin Blanc planted in California than in France. Today most of the remaining Chenin Blanc is planted in the Central Valley and only 17.5 acres remain in Napa Valley. For the Lang & Reed Chenin Blanc Napa Valley, they source the fruit from a tiny hillside vineyard on the eastern rim of the valley, just below Howell Mountain. This wine’s vinification is a collaborative effort between winemakers John Skupny and his son, Reed Skupny, who has made white wine on three continents – Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, Chardonnay in Napa Valley, and Chenin Blanc in Chinon, France. The 2022 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc is their sixth bottling of their exploration of the Chenin Blanc grape in Napa Valley.

Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Lang & Reed 2022 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc

Tasting Notes

The Chenin Blanc grapes were whole cluster pressed, left to settle for a day, and then transferred into barrels – two new French oak barrels (Louis Latour & Gauthier) and two seasoned French oak. Half of the barrels were inoculated with selected yeast strains, while the balance was allowed to ferment on the indigenous yeast. The lees were stirred weekly until one month before bottling. The wine has a beautifully aromatic nose of honeysuckle, stone fruits, almond, and vanilla. On the palate, the wine is rich and textured with fresh acidity.

Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Lang & Reed 2022 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc

Food Pairing

Chenin Blanc is a versatile wine and this 2022 Chenin Blanc is delicious and drinkable. It paired with our Persian meal which included hummus and cucumber yogurt, as well as Persian eggplant, and chicken.

Where to Purchase

The Lang & Reed 2022 Chenin Blanc Napa Valley retails for $75 and is available on the Lang & Reed website.

Meet The Winemaker

Get to know John Skupny of Lang & Reed on the Wine Soundtrack podcast.