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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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    Indaba Chenin Blanc 2006
    Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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      Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Late Harvest Chenin (Half-Bottle) 2006
      Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • WS92
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      25
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      Couly-Dutheil Les Chanteaux Chinon 2006
      Chenin Blanc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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        Currently Unavailable $10.99
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        Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2006
        Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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          16 28
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          Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2006
          Chenin Blanc from South Africa
          • WS88
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          Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2006
          Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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            Domaine des Baumard Savennieres 2006
            Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
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            21 99
            19 99
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            Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2006
            Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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              15 99
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              Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2006
              Chenin Blanc from Sonoma County, California
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                J. Moreau & Fils Vouvray 2006
                Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                  Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Chenin Blanc Ice Wine (half-bottle) 2006
                  Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                    Vinum Cellars Chard-No-Way 2006
                    Chenin Blanc from California
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                      Kanu Chenin Blanc 2006
                      Chenin Blanc from South Africa
                        3.9 10 Ratings
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                        Waterford Pecan Stream Chenin Blanc 2006
                        Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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                          Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Vineyard Chenin Blanc (half-bottle) 2006
                          Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                            Chateau de Montfort Vouvray 2006
                            Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                              MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc 2006
                              Chenin Blanc from South Africa
                              • WS86
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                              9 28
                              8 28
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                            • Barton & Guestier Vouvray 2006
                              Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                                Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc 2006
                                Chenin Blanc from Washington
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                                  Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2006
                                  Chenin Blanc from South Africa
                                  • WS90
                                  4.2 8 Ratings
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                                  16 79
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                                  Marc Bredif Vouvray 2006
                                  Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                                    Raats Chenin Blanc 2006
                                    Chenin Blanc from South Africa
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                                    Remy Pannier Vouvray 2006
                                    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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                                      Arabella Wines Chenin Blanc 2006
                                      Chenin Blanc from Robertson, South Africa
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                                        Peel Estate Wood Matured Chenin Blanc 2006
                                        Chenin Blanc from Australia
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