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Texas Wine of the Month: McPherson Cellars Dry Chenin Blanc, 2012

The two master sommeliers who crafted the wine menu for Arro, a new French restaurant in Austin, like the full body and acidity of this chenin blanc from Kim McPherson's winery.

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The Wine: 
McPherson Cellars Dry Chenin Blanc, 2012.

The Grape: 
Chenin blanc.

Who Likes It: 
Craig Collins of Dalla Terra wine importers and Devon Broglie, the associate global beverage buyer for Whole Foods Market. Recently, the two Austin-based master sommeliers partnered up to consult on the exclusively French wine list at Austin’s new Arro restaurant, a casual French bistro from chefs Andrew and Mary Catherine Curren of 24 Diner and Easy Tiger. 

“I love the texture of chenin blanc,” Broglie said. “It is a fuller bodied white grape with crisp acidity.”  

“I love chenin blanc because of its versatility,” Collins added. “It can be made in a variety of styles from sparkling to dry, off dry, or sweet and each style shows beautiful apple, quince and citrus notes that the varietal is known for.”   

Why They Like It:
Collins noted that this wine drinks well in the Texas heat, adding “This wine displays classic chenin blanc characteristics and expresses the beautiful minerality that makes Texas unique.”

“I like it because it tastes good,” Broglie said. He also applauded the winemaking abilities of Kim McPherson. “This wine has great apple and pear fruit with crisp, refreshing acidity. It’s a perfect example of chenin blanc grown in a warm climate.” 

Suggested Pairings: 
“I’d easily put this wine with fresh oysters, lemon-roasted chicken, or redfish on the half shell,” Broglie said. 

“For me, this is one of those wines I like to drink before I start drinking,” Collins said. “Try it at the beginning of your meal with grilled vegetables or a summer salad. It will also stand up to lighter chicken and fish dishes and pairs exceptionally well with some Texas goat cheese.” 

On Down the Road: 
“Texas wine is in a good place right now with plenty of dedicated and passionate grape growers and winemakers on the scene,” said Broglie said, who calls the future of winemaking in the state, “as bright as a Hill Country sunrise.” 

Collins, who got hist start in the Texas wine business seventeen years ago when he was at Texas A&M University. “I worked at Messina Hof winery and I’ve been following the industry closely ever since,” he said. “The quality of Texas wine has come so far in the past five years alone with varietals better for the climate and soil that is unique to Texas.”

Note from the Winemaker:
Chenin blanc always works well in Texas because it grows so well in the High Plains, according to Kim McPherson, and it’s versatile as a blending grape. “It goes really well with Muscat to make a blush with red wine,” he said. “If you put it with Viognier, it makes a beautiful white wine. On its own, there’s a big misconception about what chenin blanc is. Everyone thinks it’s going to be a sweet wine, but it really doesn’t have to be. This was an attempt to show how crisp and dry it can be.” 

Availability: 
McPherson produced about 440 cases of the Dry Chenin Blanc. It is currently only available at the winery.  

Price:
$15

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