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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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  • Saget la Perriere Vouvray Marie de Beauregard 2009 Front Label
    Saget la Perriere Vouvray Marie de Beauregard 2009
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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  • Domaine Huet Vouvray Cuvee Constance (500ML) 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Huet Vouvray Cuvee Constance (500ML) 2009
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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    • RP96
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  • Clos de Nouys Vouvray Estate Sec 2009 Front Label
    Clos de Nouys Vouvray Estate Sec 2009
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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  • Kanu Chenin Blanc 2009 Front Label
    Kanu Chenin Blanc 2009
    Chenin Blanc from South Africa
    • WS87
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  • Raats Chenin Blanc 2009 Front Label
    Raats Chenin Blanc 2009
    Chenin Blanc from South Africa
    • WS90
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  • Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux 2009
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
    • WS94
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  • Domaine des Baumard Savennieres 2009 Front Label
    Domaine des Baumard Savennieres 2009
    Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
    • WS92
    • RP90
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  • Domaine Vigneau Chevreau Cuvee Silex Sec Vouvray 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Vigneau Chevreau Cuvee Silex Sec Vouvray 2009
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
    • WS90
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  • Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2009 Front Label
    Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2009
    Chenin Blanc from South Africa
    • WS88
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  • De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2009 Front Label
    De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2009
    Chenin Blanc from South Africa
    • RP93
    • WS91
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  • Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux (375ML half-bottle) 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux (375ML half-bottle) 2009
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
    • WS94
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