In a nutshell:
- An incredibly versatile grape that can produce delicious white wines in a wide range of styles – dry and lean, rich and aromatic, sweet and luscious, and bubbly sparklers.
Where it is primarily grown:
- Loire Valley, France
- South Africa
Also Known As:
- Chenin Blanc is the most widely planted white grape variety in South Africa.
- South African chenin blanc is almost always dry.
- Savennieres (France) is almost always dry.
- Vouvray (France) is almost always off-dry. If it’s labeled “Sec” it means it is dry. If it labeled “Demi-Sec” it is medium sweet. If it the label doesn’t specify, assume it is off dry.
- French sparkling wines made with chenin blanc are called “Cremant de Loire”.
- Body: Medium to Full
- Acidity: High
- Alcohol: Medium
- Sugar: Dry to sweet
Flavor and aroma profile:
- Dry: lean style with flavors of pear, quince, apples, ginger, and chamomile
- Off-dry: ripe pear, ginger, jasmine, passion fruit, and honeycomb
- Sweet: baked apple, honey, toasted almond, mango, ginger, and orange
- Sparkling: quince, yellow apple, plum, ginger, and floral
You might like this grape if you like…:
- Riesling (look for Vouvray and demi-sec styles)
- Chardonnay (look for dry South African styles)
- Champagne (look for sparkling Cremant de Loire)
- Fish and shellfish
- Cream sauces
- Spicy Asian cuisine (sweeter styles)
- Lemon desserts
Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2017 (Dry Style) – $26
Champalou Vouvray La Cuvée des Fondraux 2016 (Off Dry Style) – $22
Domaine Huet Vouvray Haut Lieu Demi-Sec 2018 (Medium Sweet) – $38
Domaine Huet – Huet Vouvray Haut Lieu Moulleux 2018 (Sweet/Dessert) – $42
Domaine Huet Huet Vouvray Petillant Brut 2014 (Sparkling) – $27