The Many Sides of Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is one of France's iconic grapes and has a surprising diversity.

By John Farlow - April 2014

Domaine Pichot Vouvray Brut 2010

$25, Bacchus Importers

This light, lilting sparkling wine is a great way to kick off spring. Here, Chenin Blanc shows its lacy dry side, with cool mineral undertones and prim yellow-stone fruit nuances. There is also a hint of mint around the edges, all of which makes for a bright and refreshing glass of bubbly.

Charles Bove Vouvray 2012

$18, The Country Vintner

In the region of Vouvray, sweetness gets turned up ever so slightly to reveal a juicy, friendly Chenin Blanc. The trademark Loire Valley mineral streak remains, but the fruit notes are riper and a bit richer. It still finishes pretty dry and is a sublime match with any of the goat cheeses made in the Loire Valley.

Domaine Laffourcade Savennières 2010

$35, Voila! Wines

Don’t be put off by the vintage. A good Savennières often needs a couple of years to outgrow its sharp edges and searing acidity. The reward can be found in this example: rich apricot and peach flavors, heady floral aromas, talc and limestone minerals, and an electric zing of acidity on the finish.

Once the playground of royalty, France’s Loire Valley is the home of fine French cuisine, a breadbasket for much of the country, and the producer of some of the region’s best wines. Chenin Blanc is one of its iconic grapes and has a surprising diversity.


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