Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties ...
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 its Chenin.
In the Glass
Chenin's 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, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.
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.
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.
- Sauvignon Blanc200
- Pinot Gris/Grigio70
- Other White Blends26
- Gruner Veltliner12
- Chenin Blanc12
- Rhône White Blends6
- Pinot Blanc5
- Bordeaux White Blends4
- Other White Wine4
Graham Beck Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2018Chenin Blanc from Swartland, South Africa
Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2017Chenin Blanc from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc 2018Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Indaba Chenin Blanc 2017Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc 2017Chenin Blanc from Swartland, South Africa
Vinum Cellars Chenin Blanc 2017Chenin Blanc from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
Beaumont Chenin Blanc 2017Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Vinum Cellars Chenin Blanc 2014Chenin Blanc from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2018Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch, South Africa
Fleur du Cap Essence du Cap Chenin Blanc 2018Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch, South Africa
Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2016Chenin Blanc from South Africa