2021 Phillips Chenin Blanc
Tony and Madonnna Phillips planted Chenin for us in 2019 at their vineyard near Brownfield in the Texas High Plains, and this is the first wine we've made from these vines.
2021's wet, humid conditions caused botrytis to develop in a portion of the Chenin Blanc, creating an off-dry wine with some natural sweetness. Botrytis is also known as "noble rot" and is common in many winegrowing regions with cool, wet weather like Germany, Anderson Valley, the Finger Lakes and Sauternes. While the High Plains aren't known for being cold and wet, some vintages are because of Monsoon season in the fall.
In some cases such as Sauternes and our 2015 Dessert Chenin, the botrytis has completely spread through the crop, dehydrating the clusters entirely and creating an opulent dessert style wine. In other cases like the 2021 vintage, botrytis only partially develops creating aromas and flavors of honey, mushrooms, ginger and apricot that compliment the traditional pear, quince and minerality that come with Texas Chenin Blanc.