Lieu Dit Chenin Blanc Santa Ynez Valley 2014: As pedigrees go, it’s hard to beat a super-somm and an up-and-coming winemaker. Meet Eric Railsback — who’s been part of the team at Les Marchands, Mattei’s, and Wine Cask (and that’s just his work around here) — and Justin Willett, who started at Arcadian and runs Tyler Winery. Of all things, they are most interested in grapes from France’s Loire Valley, hence this tasty pour.
This chenin blanc — from Foxen Canyon vines planted in the 1980s, aged enough to be called “old” for this rare varietal in California — is a minerally delight, with enough acid to work as an aperitif or to cut through a fatty appetizer’s heft or, conversely, to help oysters shine. It’s a laser beam of lovely citrus and precision.