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Chenin Blanc

Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties ...

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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 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.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

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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  • Chateau de Montfort Vouvray 2012 Front Label
    Chateau de Montfort Vouvray 2012
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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    • Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
      Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2012
      Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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        Currently Unavailable $12.98
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        14
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      • MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
        MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc 2012
        Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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          Currently Unavailable $7.99
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          9 99
          7 99
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        • Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
          Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc 2012
          Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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          • Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
            Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2012
            Chenin Blanc from South Africa
            • RP92
            • WS90
            3.1 7 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
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          • Indaba Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
            Indaba Chenin Blanc 2012
            Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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            • Sauvion Vouvray 2012 Front Label
              Sauvion Vouvray 2012
              Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                15
                13 98
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              • Ernie Els Big Easy Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
                Ernie Els Big Easy Chenin Blanc 2012
                Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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                  19
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                • Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
                  Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2012
                  Chenin Blanc from California
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                  • Graham Beck Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
                    Graham Beck Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012
                    Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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                    • Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012 Front Label
                      Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012
                      Chenin Blanc from South Africa
                      • WS89
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                      15 99
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