“I love all the aspects of winemaking […] I love sharing my wines with others. I can’t believe that I produce something that people sit around the table with and enjoy.” –Cindy Cosco, Passaggio Wines

About the Wine: Passaggio Wines 2016 Chenin Blanc is made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes harvested from Heringer Estates in Clarksburg — a source that Cindy’s had a relationship with for over 3 years. “It’s a great vineyard,” says Cindy, “I love what they do and what they grow.”

After harvest, the Chenin is immediately pressed off upon delivery to the winery and settled overnight. The juice is then racked into stainless drums to ferment (using two different yeast strains) for 4 weeks, and stirred on the lees. The individual lots were blended together just before bottling.

“I love this wine!” says Cindy.

Me too.

12.3% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle and, though there aren’t any specific aromas that immediately waft out, there is the undeniable presence of crispness and freshness. Passaggio Chenin Blanc is near clear on the pour, settling into a beautiful champagne-shade of off-white, bordering on “cream.” The initial aromas in the glass bring to mind an elegant, floral perfume: narcissus, orange blossom, gardenias. Swirl and more of that floral arrangement is revealed along with the crisp acidity of green apple, green pear and softer fruits like ripe apricot, white nectarine, and yellow peach. Moving the nose to the top of the glass will hint at something softer — raw nuts? bits of cold butter? the lingering scent of a baked pastry?

The initial palate is quite smooth but very juicy with a thin line of acidity that slowly increases toward the finish, but neither overpowers nor leaves that spicy prickle on the tongue. Flavors sing of citrus zest (predominantly blood orange) without any sour zing or excessive fruit juices. There’s an undertone reminiscent of macadamia nut that balances out the fruit, keeping the texture, overall, quite smooth and adding a bit of body to this light white wine. The aftertaste pulls this all together with a simultaneously solid and lingering palate of citrus curd.

Food Pairing: I paired the Passaggio 2016 Chenin Blanc with a vegetable pizza: spinach, mushrooms, broccoli with mozzarella and pecorino romano cheeses. Perfect pairing? Heck yes. While the fullness of the cheese helped accentuate that undertone of a “cream-like” quality, the overall lightness of the wine did well to cut through those same cheeses. Meanwhile, the vegetables pulled out a grassy minerality, giving the whole meal a well-rounded balance.

The thing you have to know about Cindy’s wines is that, for all their depth and complexity, they are extremely casual. And for this reason, a “fun food” like pizza is absolutely the perfect pairing with her Chenin Blanc. Delight in its aromas and multi-layer palate, and then delight in the fact that, at the end of the day, this is fun, easy drinking.

I believe it’s all about food, friends, and wine. – Cindy Cosco, Passaggio Wines

More Info: I received the Passaggio 2016 Chenin Blanc as a sample for review. (Cheers Cindy!) Price: $30. For more information about Cindy, Passaggio, and to purchase her wines directly, please visit the Passaggio Wines website.

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