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One Bottle: 2019 Minus Tide Buddha’s Dharma Vineyard Chenin Blanc

by Trevor Felch

Before chardonnay’s buttery surge to become California’s favorite white grape, it had a close peer in popularity and production: chenin blanc. The latter is challenging to find in the state these days, so it’s delightful to see that one of the most impressive bottles of Golden State chenin blanc is from a newcomer producer and a 76-year-old vineyard near Ukiah that is owned by the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas monastery.

Minus Tide cofounders Kyle Jeffrey, Brad Jonas and Miriam Jonas met at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In 2017, they officially started their winery as an ode to the quiet, diverse wine-growing terrain of Mendocino County. Minus Tide’s 2019 Chenin Blanc starts with ripe melon and honeycrisp apple notes on the nose before flavors of winter citrus and wet slate arrive gracefully in the body. The smooth, crisp wine ends with a hint of toast and grapefruit, making it a natural pairing for brunch or a wonderful partner for caviar and oysters in the evening.

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