Wine of the week: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier 2012
What's not to like about the Pine Ridge ($10, purchased, 12%)? It's cheap and it delivers so much more value than what it costs that I can't find a sufficient metaphor to describe how much more value that is.
The 2012 may be the best vintage ever, which is saying something given the wine's quality over the past decade. This California white wine blend offers peach fruit and a bit of floral from the viognier plus some citrus and a touch of honey from the chenin blanc. The chenin and viognier play off each other so well that it's hard to believe this wine didn't cost as much as one of Pine Ridge's $50 and $100 reds.
In this, it demonstrates one of the keys to finding great cheap wine from California. Forget the goofy names and cute labels; look for a less expensive wine from a producer who makes lots of expensive wine, be it Pine Ridge or Dry Creek. That's one of the lessons, by the way, in the Cheap Wine Book.
Highly recommended, and will almost certainly be included in the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame. Drink this chilled on its own or with almost any sort of white wine dish.