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 Blanc133
- Other White Blends71
- Pinot Gris/Grigio70
- Bordeaux White Blends30
- Pinot Blanc30
- Rhône White Blends16
- Chenin Blanc14
- Muller Thurgau1
- Other White Wine1
Denis Marchais Vouvray (half-bottle) 1998Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
Columbia Winery Yakima Valley Chenin Blanc 1998Chenin Blanc from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Domaine des Baumard Clos du Papillon Savennieres 1998Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
Chappellet Dry Chenin Blanc 1998Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley, California
Barton & Guestier Vouvray 1998Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Chenin Blanc 1998Chenin Blanc from California
Hogue Chenin Blanc 1998Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc (OU Kosher) 1998Chenin Blanc from California
Chappellet Old Vine Cuvee Chenin Blanc 1998Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley, California
Callaway Chenin Blanc Dry 1998Chenin Blanc from California
Chappellet Moelleux Chenin Blanc (half-bottle) 1998Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley, California
Chateau de Suronde Quarts de Chaume 1998Chenin Blanc from Anjou, Loire, France