Lightening Wines is a new sip for me. Winemakers Randy and Brooke Hester were kind enough to send me a few samples to taste what their small batch winery is all about. This Napa-based winery focuses on Rhone-style wines, sourcing much of their grapes from El Dorado County, California’s self-proclaimed “Rhone-zone.” As someone who loves Rhone wines and appreciates California’s diverse expression of the grapes that are so dependent on both region and winemaker, I was eager to taste what Lightening Wines had to offer. Always skeptical about white blends in general, spoiler alert: I was very much impressed by this CDP Blanc. Well-balanced, refreshing, and just downright tasty, I was able to enjoy with several meals throughout the week.

About the Wine: The Lightening Wines 2017 CDP Blanc is made of 53% Grenache Blanc, 27% Picpoul Blanc, and 20% combination of Marsanne and Roussanne, all harvested predominantly from vineyards in El Dorado County (with some of the Grenache Blanc coming out of San Benito).

The Piquepoul, Marsanne, and Roussanne all went through a one day cold-soak. Whole cluster Grenache Blanc was added to the blend during pressing. The juices then co-fermented in combination French oak (about 66%) and stainless steel (about 33%) with combination native and inoculated Burgundian yeast with once-daily stirring. Two batches, fermenting in oak barrels, underwent secondary, Malolactic fermentation, fermenting to complete dryness.

The final blended wine then aged in barrel on the lees for 10 months

13.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Lightening CDP Blanc and find faint, faint aromas of apples, green grass, pear, and peach skin. This white blend is near clear on the pour, settling into the glass a pale, pale, soft straw. Initial aromas are of honey, pollen, chamomile, and subtle notes of stone fruits (like white peach and nectarine). Swirl, and release citrus notes of lemon pith, a refreshing acidity, and a river rock minerality. The palate of the Lightening CDP Blanc is soft with a zing! of lemon-lime zesty acidity. Though the acidity rides through and through, and right through the center of the palate, the palate actually remains, overall, texturally soft. Until the end, that is, when you enjoy a tingle on the tongue that just lingers for days…

Dominant flavors are of daisies, warm spring grass, lemon-lime notes, white strawberries, star fruit and green apples.

Pairing: I paired the Lightening CDP Blanc with a casual mid-week meal and that is exactly what this wine is perfect for. Nothing fancy, but the wine has a beautiful ability to add to, uplift and heighten the food-wine meal experience. I paired this wine with a day when I needed that uplifting…

On that day when it happened, when it all became real, even more real than motion itself

But the effort, the sacrifice, the intent became real

On that day when I questioned my stability and thus my ability

And went down the swirling vortex of self-deprication

That day I decided to take a stand

Let my voice be heard

And not take no for an answer

Because it is no one’s choice

I am here

I am here.


Did I get zapped by the lightening? Or would I have written this poem while sipping on any other wine? Who knows. But what I do know is that I love that sometimes wine and art intersect, connect, and create just as well, if not better, than any food and wine pairing.

More Info: I received the Lightening Wines 2017 CDP Blanc as a sample for review. (Cheers Rosemary!) Price: $24. For more information about Lightening Wines, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Lightening Wines website.

BriscoeBites officially accepts samples as well as conducts on-site and online interviews. Want to have your wine, winery or tasting room featured? Please visit the Sample Policy page where you can contact me directly. Cheers!

**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**


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