Collection: Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc has two centres of excellence: the Loire Valley in France and South Africa where it is the most widely planted grape variety. Sadly it seems to have a bit of an image problem. Perhaps because when it is cropped too high or in the hands of a clumsy winemaker, it can be decidedly ordinary. But when made well, from low yields, Chenin Blanc can really sing. In the Loire it produces high quality dry wines in Savenniéres, and luscious sweet, dessert wines in Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume. In Vouvray and Montlouis it can be anything between bone dry, medium dry, or sweet, and still or sparkling! Whether dry or sweet, the best Loire Chenin Blancs possess marvellously concentrated rich, honeyed fruit together with refreshingly vibrant acidity. It is Chenin Blanc's high acidity that enable the wines to age so well. In South Africa Chenin Blanc thrives and is prized for its versatility. Often used as a cheap blending option with other white varieties like Chardonnay and Colombard, but producers seeking to make top quality examples keep their yields low and produce impressively rounded and mouth-filling wines. Slowly but surely more Chenin Blanc is being grown in New Zealand where it showing exciting potential.
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