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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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  • Domaine des Baumard Clos de Sainte Catherine Coteaux du Layon 1996
    Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
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    • Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume (375ML half-bottle) 1996
      Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
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      • Callaway Chenin Blanc Dry 1996 Front Label
        Callaway Chenin Blanc Dry 1996
        Chenin Blanc from California
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        • Chateau Pierre-Bise Coteaux du Layon Chaume (375ml half-bottle) 1996 Front Label
          Chateau Pierre-Bise Coteaux du Layon Chaume (375ml half-bottle) 1996
          Chenin Blanc from Anjou, Loire, France
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        • Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume 1996
          Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
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          • Chateau de Fesles Bonnezeaux la Chapelle 1996 Front Label
            Chateau de Fesles Bonnezeaux la Chapelle 1996
            Chenin Blanc from Anjou, Loire, France
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            • Poniatowski Vouvray Aigle Blanc 1996 Front Label
              Poniatowski Vouvray Aigle Blanc 1996
              Chenin Blanc from Touraine, Loire, France
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              • Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu 1996 Front Label
                Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu 1996
                Chenin Blanc from Touraine, Loire, France
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