Wine review: Dry Creek 2009 Dry Chenin Blanc and 2006 Mariner

Dry Creek Vineyards 2009 Dry Chenin BlancDry Creek Vineyards isn’t one of those jump up and down, shouting “look at me!” wineries. They thankfully haven’t gone down the animal-on-the-label road nor have they succumbed to posting extreme promotional drivel on Facebook and Twitter. They’re thoughtful, consistent and course-stayers like the tortoise in the fable.

Dry Creek’s tasty juice remains solid year after year, their marketing conservative, and their prices stay pretty reasonable. Not to mention that they’re still family-owned (since 1972), a marvelous feat in an industry that keeps consolidating as the recession crushes sales.

So, even if their wines sucked, I’d admire them for not selling out to the hype or The Man.

Dry Creek Vineyards 2009 Dry Chenin Blanc Wilson Ranch

I’ve tried this Chenin Blanc every vintage since 2003, when I fell in love with the beauty of this grape. Originally from France’s Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc is the grape found in the famed bottles of Vouvray but Dry Creek’s version is less full-bodied and not as sweet as most Vouvrays. Dry yet floral with honeysuckle, ripe peaches and fantastically tart citrus acidity on the finish. It’s refreshing yet smooth at the same time, something not many grapes can achieve.

Sweetness: 2 out of 10
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Price: $12 – $14
Occasion: Bottle sent to me by winery and tasted blind.
Availability: High-end wine shops or on their website

Dry Creek Vineyards 2006 The Mariner Dry Creek Valley

The 2006 Mariner is a different animal. A red Bordeaux “Meritage” blend (what’s Meritage?) of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this a full-bodied, tannin-heavy yet elegant wine. Red cherry, bittersweet chocolate and juicy plum frame this picture of inviting grog, while fresh herbs, soft leather tannins and coffee fill in the middle. To combat the fact that it’s really too young to be fully enjoyed right now, pour it into a glass or decant at least an hour before drinking to loosen up the tight tannins.

Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Price: $40- $45
Occasion: Bottle sent to me by winery and tasted blind.
Availability: High-end wine shops or on their website

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2 comments to Wine review: Dry Creek 2009 Dry Chenin Blanc and 2006 Mariner

  • Taylor – thanks for the awesome review and kind words on our wines. Much appreciated. Your recent Tweet about Wine O’ Clock is too funny. My parents in- law live in Prosser. My father in-law swears by that place. He gets the same thing every time – braised lamb shank. He claims it’s the best anywhere. Small world,isn’t it?

    Cheers!

  • Taylor

    Indeed!! The meal at Wine o’Clock was spectacular.

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