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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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  • Hogue Chenin Blanc 1999 Front Label
    Hogue Chenin Blanc 1999
    Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • Indaba Chenin Blanc 1999 Front Label
      Indaba Chenin Blanc 1999
      Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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      • Beringer Chenin Blanc 1999 Front Label
        Beringer Chenin Blanc 1999
        Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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        • Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 1999
          Chenin Blanc from Sonoma County, California
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          • Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc (OU Kosher) 1999
            Chenin Blanc from California
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            • Kiona Chenin Blanc 1999
              Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
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              • Laboure Roi Vouvray 1999
                Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                • Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Chenin Blanc 1999
                  Chenin Blanc from California
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                  • Barton & Guestier Vouvray 1999
                    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                    • Chappellet Dry Chenin Blanc 1999
                      Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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                      • M. Picard Vouvray 1999
                        Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                        • Snoqualmie Chenin Blanc 1999 Front Label
                          Snoqualmie Chenin Blanc 1999
                          Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                          • Marc Bredif Vouvray (half-bottle) 1999
                            Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                            • Callaway Chenin Blanc Dry 1999
                              Chenin Blanc from California
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                              • Chappellet Old Vine Cuvee Chenin Blanc 1999
                                Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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                                • Chappellet Moelleux Chenin Blanc (half-bottle) 1999
                                  Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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