By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
Photo courtesy of East Coast Wineries
A friend of mine in the Hudson Valley gave me this bottle of El Paso Winery NV "Just Plain White" ($10) and I knew next to nothing about it when I tasted it. And, after visiting the winery's website I don't know much either, other than that it's a "medium to semi-dry Chenin Blanc blend" even though the label says "Dry Table Wine."
I tasted it before visiting the website however, and I wouldn't have guessed chenin blanc at all.
The nose is very seyval blanc-like to me with apple and that dusty earthiness that turns me off about the grape. There's some sweet fruit there and a bit of the foxy aroma often associated with hybrids and natives. I scribbled "Seyval and Cayuga?" in my notebook. Hopefully I can find out what was blended into the chenin for this (and also where that chenin came from).
A bit fruitier and foxier on the palate, the residual sugar brings nice mouth-filling roundness to the wine and there is nice acid on the finish to keep it from being too sweet, but it falls a bit flat in the mid-palate where it's a little watery after a apple-y start.
Producer: El Paso Winery
AVA: New York
Rating: (2 out of 5 | Average)