If you take a peek at the Livermore Valley Winery map, you’ll find the east most winery is Les Chenes Winery. Contrary to its directional position in Livermore Wine Country, Les Chenes is all southern…southern France that is. Les Chenes boasts a specialization in Estate Rhone Wines and it is a boast that is well earned! As a lover (and I do mean LOVER) of Rhone varietals, I was very excited to visit this east most winery.
Upon entering the tasting room, I was greeted by a hearty somewhat baritone voice, “Welcome to Les Chenes!” Immediately, I felt welcomed.
The tasting room was warm and inviting. Now, I’ve been in many tasting rooms. I am fairly adept at recognizing architecture and layouts that are designed to evoke certain feelings and impressions. Les Chenes’ tasting room was like being at a party where everyone congregates in the kitchen with a glass of wine and piece of cheese. However, I’m getting ahead of myself.
While the reds at Les Chenes certainly lived up to my expectations (be sure NOT to miss the Gargouille red blend), I was put to shame by the Les Chenes whites! The Les Chenes whites were delicious because they
were true to the heritage of the grape. Don’t worry. I’m not going to go on technical tangent on the taste profile of Rhone whites. However, I do want to draw attention to Richard’s blend of chardonnay and viognier appropriately named Deux Blanc. Richard tells the story of his father’s friend, who blended chardonnay and viognier in traditional French style for family meals. Duex Blanc has yummy peach notes with a bit of a fleshy texture. Les Chenes’ Deux Blanc wonderfully honors Richard’s family history. I won’t be so hasty to skip or rush through whites…lesson learned.
You might be thinking, “Ok, Michael, I get it. Les Chenes is a full sensory experience” and you’d be right, but I’m not done yet. You have Richard’s wine knowledge and sea stories…nice. You have fantastic Rhone varietals…excellent. You have Candice’s smile that lights up the room…awesome! You have award winning cheeses…wonderful! Finally, to round out your tasting experience, Candice also makes her own mustards. Like I said, people at a party gathered in the kitchen with a glass of wine, cheese, a little mustard on a pretzel, and lots and lots of laughing!
A la votre
(Cheers, to your health)!