Merriman 2014 chenin blanc, from Columbia Valley, has a the nose has an unmistakable honey scent to it along with hints of white flowers. I think of that spring like first flower smell you get here in the midwest but not like the white flowers from the tropics. Flowers are something that sounds esoteric when it comes to wine but when you stop and smell and taste? Trust me it becomes something you sense. Honey, by the way, is the big thing on the nose here but the nose doesn't always tell you what you are going to taste.
The wine itself is wound up tight, tart and has a blazing acidity. Any "honey" you might taste is subsumed under lemon and if you let it warm up, some plum (I confess I initially thought "melon" but changed my mind as I thought on it). This wine has a big mouth feel, it is substantial. I sort of felt maybe I had opened it too soon. While you could certainly hang onto this wine for some time and it would improve? It is sort of hard to resist now.
It is a wonderful food wine and can cut through rich foods but can also pair with lighter food and even spicy foods. I had it with spicy food as I consider eating food that isn't spicy akin to drinking bourbon without alcohol. It has the body and acidity to work with a variety of foods. Acidity, among other qualities, can make a wine "cut through" rich food.
Forget food for a moment; it is just a great wine to drink. All the descriptions and saying "this fruit or that fruit" or "the nose is this or that" is just yapping compared to the joy you get from a wine. This is a wine you will have fun drinking with or without food and with or without thinking about it deeply. You CAN examine this wine's complexity far more than I have but you need not.
The grapes from this wine come from Columbia Valley in Washington. The wine itself is made in Carlton, Oregon. Is chenin blanc a "surprising wine"? Perhaps not but recently I asked wine drinkers I know and it is less widely embraced than I thought. It is hardly in danger of extinction be examples from the Pacific Northwest are not terribly common. This wine comes from 40 year old vines. Merriman make their wine at The Carlton Winemaker's Studio.