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Chenin Blanc

Learn about Chenin Blanc — taste profile, popular regions and more …

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Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for Chenin.

Tasting Notes for Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc makes a white wine. Drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have apple, ginger and floral notes.

Perfect Food Pairings for Chenin Blanc

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.

Sommelier Secrets for Chenin Blanc

South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.

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  • Tania et Vincent Careme Terre Brulee Chenin Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Tania et Vincent Careme Terre Brulee Chenin Blanc 2019
    Chenin Blanc from Swartland, South Africa
    • WS90
    • WW90
    4.0 95 Ratings
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  • Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Montlouis sur Loire Les Hauts de Husseau 2015 Front Label
    Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Montlouis sur Loire Les Hauts de Husseau 2015
    Chenin Blanc from Montlouis, Touraine, Loire, France
    • WS93
    3.2 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • Remy Pannier Vouvray 2018  Front Label
    Remy Pannier Vouvray 2018
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
      3.8 9 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    • Clos Rougeard Breze 2014  Front Bottle Shot
      Clos Rougeard Breze 2014
      Chenin Blanc from Saumur, Loire, France
      • V92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $299.99
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