2020 Leo Steen Chenin Blanc Mendocino, California, USA

This wine has alluring weight and richness, a silky texture and subtle aromas of green pear, white pepper, Chamomile, and mint. The palate offers a medley of white flower, lemon salt, and almond notes with a refreshing finish with subtle mineral notes.



After gently breaking the berries, the grapes underwent 2 to 3 hours of skin contact prior to pressing. The wine was fermented in stainless steel using indigenous yeast for approximately one month until complete dryness. 85% of the wine was transferred to neutral French oak, with the remaining 15% placed in a concrete egg, with both aged for five months on fine lees.


Having caught the wine bug, Leo came to the United States in 1999 to check out the food and wine scene, and never went back! He migrated to the Sonoma wine country, and soon got a job as a waiter and sommelier and ultimately a wine buyer at the wine-centric Dry Creek Kitchen and Cyrus restaurants in Healdsburg. He later began working at Stuhmuller winery in the Alexander Valley, and started making a bit of his own wine, at the Stuhlmuller facilities, in 2004. From his years as a buyer, he noticed there was a decided lack of food-friendly, energetic wines from California. So, it was fitting that the centerpiece of Leo’s winemaking efforts was a bone-dry Chenin Blanc. Steen is also his family’s middle name and it is the South African word for Chenin Blanc. Leo has long been fascinated by this sleek and elegant varietal, and sought out the oldest Chenin Blanc vines in Dry Creek Valley to work with.

In 2006, he made his first vintage of Chenin from the Saini Farm Vineyard which was planted in 1981. The vineyard is dry farmed and situated on an old riverbed. The stony soils help to give a nice mineral underpinning. There are only 2 acres of the old block left for which Leo has a long term contract and also helps to farm. Hansen also makes a small amount of a Rhone-style blend from 50-60 year old Carignane and Petite Sirah called Calpella from a certified organic vineyard up in Mendocino County (in the town of Calpella).


Grape(s) Chenin Blanc
Farming Organic