Great wine – red or white – doesn’t always have to scream in your face or palate to be good wine. Dancing Coyote is a smaller operation than many of its California counterparts but its making a name with unusual white wine grapes.

Several weeks ago I received trade samples of Dancing Coyote’s Chenin Blanc, Albarino, and Gruner Veltliner. I read a little of the accompany material and put off tasting the wines. I loved the fact they are making these sometimes-hard-to-find varietals. I also loved they were making the wines in small batches.

I really, really wanted to like these wines. Now, we’ll pause because it seems more often than not when you fall in love with an idea instead of a product you’re often disappointed.

So my glee was off the charts when the 2009 Chenin Blanc hit me as the best I’ve had out of California. If you follow this blog at all, or not, I went through a big Chenin Blanc phase a few months ago. I love nice French Vouvray or Samur, was unimpressed with the South African Chenin I tried, and generally very disappointed with the 2-3 California Chenin Blancs I could find.

I loved this wine!

The very first thing I noticed is that it’s a much lighter style than the other Califnornia Chenin Blancs I tried. It has tart citrus, a very well-balanced acidity and a longer finish than I ever expected.

The wine retails around $11 but you could have trouble finding it. They made only 218 cases of the 2009.

The winery is family owned and operated and located in California’s Clarksburg area. They have about 600 acres of vineyard.

Now what I find interesting is most of the wine press I read and received on Dancing Coyote was on its Albarino and Gruner Veltliner. I have those two bottles in the rack and I’m going to try them soon. I really enjoy both of those grapes. I have never had either from a California producer.

This was a trade sample, but I’d buy Dancing Coyote white in a minute. I’ve had a couple of trade sample wines recently that I sure couldn’t say the same about.

I often link up winery websites here and have included a link to Dancing Coyote. They have a great story. Take a few moments to learn more.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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