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 Blanc366
- Other White Blends220
- Pinot Gris/Grigio181
- Other White Wine177
- Chenin Blanc58
- Bordeaux White Blends57
- Rhône White Blends57
- Gruner Veltliner42
- Pinot Blanc37
- Melon de Bourgogne4
- Muller Thurgau2
Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Late Harvest Chenin (Half-Bottle) 2006Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
Couly-Dutheil Les Chanteaux Chinon 2006Chenin Blanc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Domaine des Baumard Savennieres 2006Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
J. Moreau & Fils Vouvray 2006Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Chenin Blanc Ice Wine (half-bottle) 2006Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
Vinum Cellars Chard-No-Way 2006Chenin Blanc from California
Kanu Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Waterford Pecan Stream Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Vineyard Chenin Blanc (half-bottle) 2006Chenin Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
Barton & Guestier Vouvray 2006Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from Washington
Raats Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Arabella Wines Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from Robertson, South Africa
Peel Estate Wood Matured Chenin Blanc 2006Chenin Blanc from Australia