Chenin Blanc grape variety: Loire Valley, France Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Chenin Blanc grape variety
Wine glossary

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Country: France

Chenin Blanc is regarded as a difficult white grape in many countries, however in the Loire Valley it reaches the pinnacle of its expression producing charming sweet wines and complex dry white wines.
It is acidity that is both the problem and the great promise. If the grapes do not ripen fully then the resultant wine will reflect the high acid content. If the grapes do ripen, however, the acid will still be there but will be balanced by a complex sweetness that complements the characteristic acid backbone.
As with all wine production the answer seems to lie in yield reduction. Careful thinning increases the likelihood that the remaining grapes will behave as required and pay attention to the sun's rays.
Dry Chenin Blanc tastes of apples and the sweeter wines move toward apricots. Try the wines from the Coteaux du Layon such as those of Philippe Delesvaux to savour this complex apricot expression.
Some good wines are made from this grape variety in South Africa.
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