Arizona Stronghold's Fort Bowie chenin blanc 2014 is "surprising" mostly because of where the grapes are from and he wine created. Chenin blanc is far from an oddball grape.
This wine has definite hints of citrus but my expectation was for more fruit than you'd find in a French chenin. Yet, it really wasn't there in the way I expected. There is fruit but it is far from overwhelming. There is a little
honey here (how I found this out is by going to sniff the wine and actually sucking some INTO MY NOSE. I then noticed the honey! I do not recommend this method.
This chenin has a silky mouthfeel. Mouthfeel is what you think it is, how the wine feels in your mouth. This definitely has a heavy silky feel.
You imagine that a wine from a hot area like arizona wouldnt have the acidity of a cooler are like the Loire. But it has the pronounced acidity you expect from the grape. The wine seems to get a little bit "rounder" with air but it doesn't collapse. I may take a sip tomorrow to find out (No such luck. I drank it all).
When the wine gets some air the fruit does come out and you find more than just citrus. There are fuller more orchard-like fruits--Peach or apricot perhaps. But even so the acidic backbone remains. this would be a great food wine. A bottle of this would rock with a Thanksgiving dinner.
Since this is a chenin I can compare to Loire examples and the world's biggest chenin producer, South Africa. It has more in common with the latter than the former. There is minerality but not anything I would call earthiness. This wine
is unique from either the Loire or South Africa, lying somewhere between the two both in acidity and fruit.
The only problem with this wine might be finding it outside the great state of Arizona. They do have distribution outside Arizona but, at least in Illinois, they did not carry the chenin.