Since 1968 Pepi Winery has been producing white wines sourced from vineyards in California’s cool climate regions. I was delighted to receive a selection of their 2011 wines to review. I decided to prepare Emeril Lagasse’s Linguine with Seafood for this wine tasting event. The recipe calls for 1 cup dry white wine, so my first chore was to decide which of the four whites was the driest (in wine lingo dry means opposite of sweet.) Now, on to the wine line-up!
2011 Sauvignon Blanc
Sourced from vineyards in Clarksburg and Lake Country California there is an ever so slight grassy aroma along with delightful apple and pear essence. Flavors of citrus and stone fruit lead to a clean finish. The stainless steel is prominent in this dry, very quaff-able wine. This wine won as the best pairing with Emeril’s Linguine with Seafood. Alcohol 12.6%
2011 Pinot Grigio
Sourced from vineyards in Monterey and Sacramento Delta, the wine is almost crystal clear in the glass with essences of strawberries on the nose. The mouth-feel is semi sweet ~ think White Sangria ~ This wine would pair well with a Sunday Brunch menu of French Toast and Fruit Cocktail. Alcohol 13.0%
2011 Chenin Blanc – Viognier
When Chenin Blanc is done right, it can produce quality wines as is evident in its ancestral home in the Loire Valley of France. Unfortunately, Americans have witnessed Chenin Blanc being mass produced as jug wine. Let’s give this grape a break and see how it blends with the Viognier.
The grapes were sourced from vineyards in Clarksburg and Central Valley California. Using 66% Chenin Blanc and 34% Viognier; this wine has delightful floral honeysuckle aromas with sweet flavors of apricot and peach. This will pair well with a variety of salads and would be a good choice if you are just beginning to explore white wines. Alcohol 12.4%
Sourced from vineyards in Arroyo Seco and Delta; fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak, this wine is not a typical overly-oaky-buttery California Chardonnay. Apple aromas with a sweet crème brulee flavor, this is a Chardonnay that Moscato lovers will enjoy. Pair this will spicy Asian dishes. Alcohol 13.4%