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2016 Block Wines Chenin Blanc Gnarl Block Rothrock Vineyard

Chenin Blanc

  • USA
  • Washington
  • Columbia Valley
  • Yakima Valley
Drink between 2021 - 2025 (Edit)
CT88.5 2 reviews
Label borrowed from 2015

Community Tasting Notes 1

  • BoyBacchus wrote: 87 points

    April 1, 2018 - Drank on two separate occasions within two weeks of delivery. Can't recall exact dates but around April 1.

Pro Reviews 2

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  • By Jeb Dunnuck
    Latest Releases from Washington State, 4/5/2018 (link)

    (Block Wines Chenin Blanc Gnarl Block Rothrock Vineyard) Subscribe to see review text.

Full Pull

  • By Paul Zitarelli
    Full Pull Gnarl Finale, 3/7/2018

    (Block Wines Chenin Blanc Gnarl Block Rothrock Vineyard) Phenol55 REMINDER: Full Pull has partnered with Phenol55 for *optional* storage services for our list members. P55 is a full-service wine cellar less than ten minutes from our warehouse, in the subterranean basement of the Malt House in the heart of Georgetown. See here for more details, and then contact Phenol55 if you’re interested in signing up. ----- Hello friends. Our short three-year run of Chenin Blanc under our house winery has reached its finale:Yes, sad but true: 2016 marks the final vintage for Gnarl Block Chenin, and it’s a short vintage at that; down 37% compared to the 2015. Not sure if this one will last out the summer. We’ll save the details of why we chose to not pursue fruit in 2017 (nor beyond) for in-person conversations, and focus instead today on the fact that we ended with a terrific vintage for white wines (certainly the best of the three-year run from 2014-2016), and Morgan Lee made what is, for me, our strongest vintage of this wine to date. But a little background first. The goals with Block Wines (Full Pull’s from-grape-all-the-way-to-bottle house winery) are two-fold. First, to offer truly terroir-expressive wines: single varieties, from single blocks within single vineyards. And second, to lock in vineyard-variety combinations that – over many years of offering Washington wine – I know our list members love. Long-term list members might remember our old “Save The Chenin” series from back in 2009 and 2010. It began with a conversation with Doug Rowell of McKinley Springs Vineyard, who mentioned to me back then that they had to rip out a lot of their old-vine Chenin, because it was simply not a grape that was in fashion, and hence did not command high enough prices to keep it in the ground. What I took from that conversation was: the way to save good, old-vine Chenin is to drink more good, old-vine Chenin. (What can I say? We tried.) Rothrock is a vineyard in the Yakima Valley, northeast of Prosser, that you’ve likely never heard of (located here). But it’s old. How old? Well, the current owner doesn’t know, so I don’t know either, but the estimates are that it was planted sometime between 1974 and 1978. So, about 40-year-old vines: ancient by Washington standards. Here is a picture from our 2016 vineyard trip that hopefully conveys the ridiculous girth of these plants. There’s nothing quite like old-vine material. International Wine Report (Owen Bargreen): “The Rothrock Vineyard is located in the Yakima Valley AVA and is a cool climate for Chenin Blanc. Fruit was picked towards the end of August and then was mostly barrel aged for seven months with weekly battonage. The nose is bright and lovely, showcasing starfruit, cantaloupe and nectarine aromatics. The wine has a nice astringency and tension, which makes me think how wonderfully it would pair with sushi. Enjoy this excellent wine in the short-term while the brisk acidity awaits you. Drink 2018-2021. 90pts.” What I love about the ’16 is that it’s the lowest alc (11.2%, compared to 12.6% and 13.1% in ’14 and ’15) and the highest acid (TA 0.70 compared to 0.56 and 0.48 in ’14 and ’15) of the three. Those are the trappings of a white-wine vintage to be sure, and the end result is a brisk, dry (0.9% RS) beauty. It begins with a nose of tree fruit (pear, apple blossom) and melon paired to subtleties both mineral and honeyed. The rippin’ mineral-acid spine is the first thing you notice on the palate; this is an austerely-fruited, minerally white with nervy tension to spare. To get a little Loire-geeky, if the first two vintages of our Chenin were Vouvrary vintages, this is our Jasnieres vintage. I like Owen’s sushi-pairing rec, and I would also suggest this will be great with springtime nettles and raabs, asparagus and peas, not to mention April-run fresh halibut.

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 2016
  • Type White
  • Producer Block Wines
  • Varietal Chenin Blanc
  • Designation Gnarl Block
  • Vineyard Rothrock Vineyard
  • Country USA
  • Region Washington
  • SubRegion Columbia Valley
  • Appellation Yakima Valley

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 0 (0%)
  • In Cellars 8 (28%)
  • Consumed 21 (72%)

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