Please help me love Chenin Blanc

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Noah C
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Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#1 Post by Noah C »

Could someone please help me appreciate Chenin Blanc? There is so much love for this varietal among Somms and wine geeks, but I have to say that I just don't get it. The descriptions are of wines that are right up my alley. I should love it...I mean, it's versatility is interesting, but to me it seems like the iPhone of grapes; it can do lots of things in a mediocre sort of way. iPhones can play music, but not like a stereo system w/ a turn table. They can take photos, but not as well as a good film camera. They make phone calls, but not as reliably as a freaking landline.

Likewise, sweet Chenin is nice, but I prefer Sauternes or Auslese Riesling. Sparkling Vouvray is nice, but not as good as Champagne. Dry white Chenin can be good, but I like Chardonnay more. I was intrigued by the ageability of Savennieres, bought a couple bottles with 20 yrs of age, and they were not good (one oxidized, the other so-so).

I want to love Chenin, I really do. Please help! What am I missing? Any recommendations for a purchase?
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#2 Post by IlkkaL »

My epiphany wine was the 2008 Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Demi Sec. A Chenin unlike any other I had ever had before - just absolutely energetic with a wonderful balance between sweetness and acid. I found it very easy to love this wine for exactly what it was despite not ”getting” Chenin before.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#3 Post by Sean S y d n e y »

Grab a Guiberteau Saumur. It's the entry-level cuvée, but if you don't like it, I feel like Chenin just ain't your thing.

It is sort of the unknowable grape because it comes in so many iterations, as you've said; once you think you've grasped it, it's gone, reappearing in a totally different form.

It's ok to not like something that other people like, though, don't feel bad!
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#4 Post by Jan Janas »

Secateurs' Chenin from South Africa is a cracker for the price.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#5 Post by Jason L. »

It's kind of like Syrah where if you want something definitive, it doesn't really do that. (I'm not saying Hermitage or whatever isn't definitive Syrah, but it's also not the only great version of the grape) Its greatest strength is it's heterodox expression. It reliably produces good to great wine in all sorts of places and in so many different ways. I think that's the key to loving it - you'll not ever get a tiresome, predictable experience; Chenin is very individual.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#6 Post by Greg K »

If you don't like Chenin, you don't like Chenin. You're not required to like anything just because somms do.
Jason L. wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:42 pm It's kind of like Syrah where if you want something definitive, it doesn't really do that.
I'd personally describe it as the opposite of Syrah in that way, but ymmv.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#7 Post by Vince T »

In what way do you dislike it? Boring? Flavors? Texture? Waxy aromatics?
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#8 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 »

Vince has some good questions, will help folks to home in on more specific recs.

Otherwise just from what you wrote, you don't shy from sweeter wines. If the Huet Demi Sec doesn't move you, I struggle to think what will. Huet is kinda the benchmark there.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#9 Post by Keith Levenberg »

Noah C wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:16 pm Likewise, sweet Chenin is nice, but I prefer Sauternes or Auslese Riesling. Sparkling Vouvray is nice, but not as good as Champagne. Dry white Chenin can be good, but I like Chardonnay more. I was intrigued by the ageability of Savennieres, bought a couple bottles with 20 yrs of age, and they were not good (one oxidized, the other so-so).

I want to love Chenin, I really do. Please help! What am I missing? Any recommendations for a purchase?
I agree with you - demi-sec chenin does nothing for me. It just tastes like dry chenin to which someone added a couple packets of Sweet-and-Low for no apparent reason. The dry stuff is another matter. You need to taste an aged one if you want to get it. See if you can track down a '95 or '96 Huet and then you'll see what it can do that chardonnay can't (at least not without spending 20x the price). Also, don't limit yourself to France. There is killer chenin in South Africa.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#10 Post by DanielP »

I don't like the sweeter Chenins as well. Or rather, like you, it's not that I dislike them as much as I just always find myself wishing i had a riesling instead. And I feel the same way about Sauternes to be honest.

But I think dry Chenin really has a wonderful textural quality and a wildness to it that you don't get in chardonnay or riesling
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#11 Post by Jason L. »

Keith Levenberg wrote: January 19th, 2021, 8:42 pm I agree with you - demi-sec chenin does nothing for me. It just tastes like dry chenin to which someone added a couple packets of Sweet-and-Low for no apparent reason. The dry stuff is another matter. You need to taste an aged one if you want to get it. See if you can track down a '95 or '96 Huet and then you'll see what it can do that chardonnay can't (at least not without spending 20x the price). Also, don't limit yourself to France. There is killer chenin in South Africa.
I would definitely agree on demi-secs usually being chunky and bland (although in lean years, huet demi sec is really a perfect wine to my taste.) Yet in most other instances i find them clumsy, or did.... I am starting to suspect that they may actually be just exceedingly young. Having had some really old Saumur demi-secs, and loving them, I began to wonder if my drinking window was just off by a few decades.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#12 Post by Keith Levenberg »

Well, that is true for sure. If you've got a good 40 years to spare the demi-secs can pay dividends!

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#13 Post by john stimson »

It's really not that hard. If a dry Chenin from Huet in say 2017, or a 2017 Jacky blot single vineyard, or any number of Saumurs doesn't do it for you, you are hopeless. For me, I'm drinking far more dry chenin, and far less white burg. Less white burg because of price, and often there is just less there, in comparison with the dry chenin.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#14 Post by Jayson Cohen »

Keith Levenberg wrote: January 19th, 2021, 8:42 pm I agree with you - demi-sec chenin does nothing for me. It just tastes like dry chenin to which someone added a couple packets of Sweet-and-Low for no apparent reason.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#15 Post by Jayson Cohen »

Keith Levenberg wrote: January 19th, 2021, 9:24 pm Well, that is true for sure. If you've got a good 40 years to spare the demi-secs can pay dividends!
Chenin grown on limestone and silex and made in a reductive style is so anti-oxidant that you don’t need to wait 40 years. Just buy a well-stored 40 year old Vouvray.

A suggestion mentioned upstream was 2008 Huet. Killer vintage at all RS levels. That’s a place to start. The 2008 Le Mont Demi-sec made me a little dizzy last time I had it, it was that good. It’s a very similar vintage to 1996, also a good place to start like you mentioned, Keith.

But for current release I’d recommend buying one bottle of each of the 2019 Huet Clos de Bourg and Le Mont Sec. Anyone who doesn’t like those probably doesn’t like dry Chenin and should pass.

Other possibilities for different styles of high quality Chenin in the Loire: Andre Foucault’s Domaine Collier Saumur Blanc, Baudry Croix Boisee, Richard Leroy’s wines, Jacky Blot, Eric Nicolas at Bellerive. There are also a lot more out there, especially on Schist.

A major issue however because of global warming is alcohol. Most Savennieres is too big now, and the wines at 14+% are often ponderous. I would personally avoid anything over 13.5%, and even that is almost pushing it for me. The 2019 Huet Secs were about 13.5%.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#16 Post by LasseK »

There is a lot of good Chenin in Loire.

If i paint with broad strokes and we only talk dry Chenin, then i find two prominent styles. There is the one that, in its youth at least, reminds me of white Burgundy (not 1 to 1). And then there is the slightly oxidative style that reminds me of "Still Champagne". With age a lot of them goes towards the "Still Champagne" style though, which i personally loves. Robinot and Mosse (some cuvees only) makes some beautiful examples of the the last style. But they are very low intervention in their production, so you need to live with that.

Some of the producers i have/or are adding to my own collection are: Huet, Robinot, Jacky Blot, Mark Angeli, Mosse, Nicolas Reau, Thibaud Boudignon, Arnaud Lambert.
There is also some good Chenin coming out from South Africa. David & Nadia Sadie is really good and affordable compared to the more famous Sadie.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#17 Post by James Billy »

As above, take a trip to Huet (I'd recommend sec.*) Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. If you try a few different vintages from all three bottling and you don't like any then chenin isn't for. No big deal.

* Add a 's' and you're guaranteed pleasure [rofl.gif]

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#18 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

I think the key here may be knowing the answer to, "Which Chardonnays do you most prefer?"
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#19 Post by Julian Marshall »

All the recs are good ones. I was a doubting Thomas until some time in the early 90s when, thanks to my wife, I tried a glass of chenin (Baumard Savennières Clos de St.Yves 96 - I remember it well!) with an assortment of goat cheeses (which I was also wary of) - it was a moment of epiphany. Simple as that. Just writing this makes my mouth water, remembering the taste. The chenin and the cheese brought out the best in each other. Since then, I've been hooked.

If you can find some, Champalou's wines from 2016 are good and accessible. I would be wary of Savennières nowadays because of premox issues due apparently to winemaking changes.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#20 Post by Jim Stewart »

Julian Marshall wrote: January 20th, 2021, 4:24 am All the recs are good ones. I was a doubting Thomas until some time in the early 90s when, thanks to my wife, I tried a glass of chenin (Baumard Savennières Clos de St.Yves 96 - I remember it well!) with an assortment of goat cheeses (which I was also wary of) - it was a moment of epiphany. Simple as that. Just writing this makes my mouth water, remembering the taste. The chenin and the cheese brought out the best in each other. Since then, I've been hooked.

If you can find some, Champalou's wines from 2016 are good and accessible. I would be wary of Savennières nowadays because of premox issues due apparently to winemaking changes.
Julian, I agree with the beauty of this pairing with the emphasis on the dry chenin. If the OP doesn't enjoy chenin this way, then that is just his fate. As an aside, I marvel sometimes how a regional food/produce often pairs so well with a wine from the same region. As I speculated here viewtopic.php?p=2692291#p2692291 which came into being first? Cheers.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#21 Post by Jim Brennan »

Your palate isn't static. I'd simply recommend keeping an open mind, and continue to try CB when opportunities come around down the road.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#22 Post by Doug Schulman »

Some interesting comments here. To me, high quality Chenin has a very strong varietal character (as is true for Syrah as long as it isn't grown somewhere too hot, which tends to obliterate varietal character in any international variety). I would think some people just don't like it. Even with that, there's a pretty broad range of styles. To taste a range of styles of table wine (I would leave sweet and sparkling out of it for now) at high levels of quality, I would recommend trying all of the following wines. If you don't like any of these, you don't like Chenin.

-Botanica Chenin Blanc, South Africa (or other high quality SA Chenin, not a cheap one and not one of the overoaked ones from Ken Forrester)
-Huet Vouvray Sec and Demi-Sec -- any vineyard (or substitute either Vigneau-Chevreau for the Sec)
-Chidaine Montlouis -- any, maybe depending on whether you want dry or off-dry
-Collier or Guiberteau Saumur Blanc -- entry level or single vineyard; these aren't the same style, but they both are similarly distinctive from these other wines
-Baumard Savennieres
(- Foreau Vouvray Sec -- different style again, but probably only worth trying if you've liked some of these others)

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#23 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Just chiming in to let the OP he is not alone.

I have tried to love Chenin Blanc for 25+ years. There have been a few bottles (e.g. very old sweet Huet, some middle aged dry Huet), but the "hit rate" for me is well under 10%. So I pretty much quit bothering with it, as I prefer Riesling (dry to sweet), Gruner Veltliner, Chardonnay, etc. to such a degree that the investment in experiments just does not make sense. I still have a few bottles in the cellar from my forays into Chenin, but have almost zero interest in drinking them. I don't hate the grape (unlike Sauvignon Blanc, which I actively dislike), but it does not do anything for me.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#24 Post by Howard Cooper »

Noah C wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:16 pm Could someone please help me appreciate Chenin Blanc? There is so much love for this varietal among Somms and wine geeks, but I have to say that I just don't get it. The descriptions are of wines that are right up my alley. I should love it...I mean, it's versatility is interesting, but to me it seems like the iPhone of grapes; it can do lots of things in a mediocre sort of way. iPhones can play music, but not like a stereo system w/ a turn table. They can take photos, but not as well as a good film camera. They make phone calls, but not as reliably as a freaking landline.

Likewise, sweet Chenin is nice, but I prefer Sauternes or Auslese Riesling. Sparkling Vouvray is nice, but not as good as Champagne. Dry white Chenin can be good, but I like Chardonnay more. I was intrigued by the ageability of Savennieres, bought a couple bottles with 20 yrs of age, and they were not good (one oxidized, the other so-so).

I want to love Chenin, I really do. Please help! What am I missing? Any recommendations for a purchase?
Try some older Huet - sparkling, dry, semi-dry, sweet - with some age on them. If you still do not like Chenin Blanc, give up.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#25 Post by Jayson Cohen »

Julian Marshall wrote: January 20th, 2021, 4:24 am All the recs are good ones. I was a doubting Thomas until some time in the early 90s when, thanks to my wife, I tried a glass of chenin (Baumard Savennières Clos de St.Yves 96 - I remember it well!) with an assortment of goat cheeses (which I was also wary of) - it was a moment of epiphany. Simple as that. Just writing this makes my mouth water, remembering the taste. The chenin and the cheese brought out the best in each other. Since then, I've been hooked.

If you can find some, Champalou's wines from 2016 are good and accessible. I would be wary of Savennières nowadays because of premox issues due apparently to winemaking changes.
Time travel is always an epiphany. champagne.gif

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#26 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Keith Levenberg wrote: January 19th, 2021, 8:42 pm
Noah C wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:16 pm Likewise, sweet Chenin is nice, but I prefer Sauternes or Auslese Riesling. Sparkling Vouvray is nice, but not as good as Champagne. Dry white Chenin can be good, but I like Chardonnay more. I was intrigued by the ageability of Savennieres, bought a couple bottles with 20 yrs of age, and they were not good (one oxidized, the other so-so).

I want to love Chenin, I really do. Please help! What am I missing? Any recommendations for a purchase?
I agree with you - demi-sec chenin does nothing for me. It just tastes like dry chenin to which someone added a couple packets of Sweet-and-Low for no apparent reason. The dry stuff is another matter. You need to taste an aged one if you want to get it. See if you can track down a '95 or '96 Huet and then you'll see what it can do that chardonnay can't (at least not without spending 20x the price). Also, don't limit yourself to France. There is killer chenin in South Africa.
A crazy value is the Raats Original Unoaked Chenin Blanc. It’s around $13 and is a truly stoopid QPR, quite tasty.

Another new world Chenin worth trying is our very own William Kelley’s Beau Rivage, which is around $28. Among order of my faves, are 2019, 2017 and then the very lean 2018 that is like 11.5% ABV.

I generally buy Loire, but these are excellent buys in their own right.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#27 Post by Julian Marshall »

Jayson Cohen wrote: January 20th, 2021, 5:53 am
Julian Marshall wrote: January 20th, 2021, 4:24 am All the recs are good ones. I was a doubting Thomas until some time in the early 90s when, thanks to my wife, I tried a glass of chenin (Baumard Savennières Clos de St.Yves 96 - I remember it well!) with an assortment of goat cheeses (which I was also wary of) - it was a moment of epiphany. Simple as that. Just writing this makes my mouth water, remembering the taste. The chenin and the cheese brought out the best in each other. Since then, I've been hooked.

If you can find some, Champalou's wines from 2016 are good and accessible. I would be wary of Savennières nowadays because of premox issues due apparently to winemaking changes.
Time travel is always an epiphany. champagne.gif
Oh dear. What a wally!

Thanks Jayson for pointing that out!

I'd like to be able to quip that I'm Doctor Who, but the sad truth is that I'm just an old wino talking his usual codswallop! So it must have been the late 90s after all.

Anyway, to go back to the original subject, it is possible to change one's appreciation of a wine - I spent decades thinking that Sociando-Mallet was nothing special until that particular Road to Damascus moment sometime around five years ago!

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#28 Post by PFMay »

Noah C wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:16 pm Could someone please help me appreciate Chenin Blanc?
Why? You've tried several types and have opinions on them.

One cannot like every variety. If you like some, then by definition you like their attributes so probably dislike varieties without those attributes.

Every time you have a Chenin you don't like you are denying yourself a wine that you do like.

As Jim Brennan says, one's palate changes with time. You may at some time in the future love Chenin.

(for the record I love Chenin, prefer it to Chardonnay, and I think Chenin makes a great sparkling wine too!)
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#29 Post by dbailey »

Not sure about availability in the USA but Mullineux makes some excellent CB in south africa.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#30 Post by Noah C »

Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone! Some posters asked why I am interested in liking Chenin at all, since I have had examples and been underwhelmed. The reason is that everything I read about it seems like it is a grape that should be up my alley. I have made my peace with not being crazy about California Cabernet, Aussie Shiraz, most Southern Rhone reds. All of these can be nice, but they are just not my style. On the other hand, I really like cool climate Chardonnay, all styles of Riesling, Gruner, Sancerre, Champagne; seems like Chenin should fit the bill!

Seems like Huet is the way to go. I popped the cork on a 2014 Huet Petillant Brut given recommendations here (I happened to have it sitting in the back of the fridge) and I was again disappointed. It was ok, but nothing special. Tasted like a mediocre Champagne with too heavy of a dosage and weak carbonation. I'll try some a couple older bottles Huet and maybe something from S Africa. If that doesn't do it for me, I'll return to the Mosel!

In the meantime, please keep the recs coming!!!
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#31 Post by Howard Cooper »

Noah C wrote: January 20th, 2021, 9:16 am Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone! Some posters asked why I am interested in liking Chenin at all, since I have had examples and been underwhelmed. The reason is that everything I read about it seems like it is a grape that should be up my alley. I have made my peace with not being crazy about California Cabernet, Aussie Shiraz, most Southern Rhone reds. All of these can be nice, but they are just not my style. On the other hand, I really like cool climate Chardonnay, all styles of Riesling, Gruner, Sancerre, Champagne; seems like Chenin should fit the bill!

Seems like Huet is the way to go. I popped the cork on a 2014 Huet Petillant Brut given recommendations here (I happened to have it sitting in the back of the fridge) and I was again disappointed. It was ok, but nothing special. Tasted like a mediocre Champagne with too heavy of a dosage and weak carbonation. I'll try some a couple older bottles Huet and maybe something from S Africa. If that doesn't do it for me, I'll return to the Mosel!

In the meantime, please keep the recs coming!!!
Returning to the Mosel can never be a bad thing.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#32 Post by Rob_S »

Try a Ken Forrester "The FMC" from SA. It's an oaked and heavier CB and a wonderful expression of the grape at a easy price. On the SA front, Sadie Family's single vineyard wines (Skurfberg etc.) are outstanding but hard to source. Mullineux is another wonderful producer. Then again these aren't cool climate Chard or Gruner. SA Chenin competes against white Rhones in terms of pairing for me.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#33 Post by Arjan Stavast »

Noah C wrote: January 20th, 2021, 9:16 am

Seems like Huet is the way to go. I popped the cork on a 2014 Huet Petillant Brut given recommendations here (I happened to have it sitting in the back of the fridge) and I was again disappointed. It was ok, but nothing special. Tasted like a mediocre Champagne with too heavy of a dosage and weak carbonation. I'll try some a couple older bottles Huet and maybe something from S Africa. If that doesn't do it for me, I'll return to the Mosel!

In the meantime, please keep the recs coming!!!
I am a big CB fan but also never really was impressed by the bubble ones. A bit like Cremant de Bourgogne or Alsace: it’s ok but the region specializing in it (I.e. champagne) makes better stuff. So, I wouldn’t give up based on that bottle.

We just had an ‘89 Huet Clos du Bourg 1ere Trie with panfried skate in a lemon-caper sauce and that was just divine. Huet takes some time to start singing, but when it does it’s world class.

I can also second the South African recommendations, which can be enjoyed a bit younger. We had some Brookdale recently which was divine. Not sure if you can find it on your side of the pont but if you can, give it a try!
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#34 Post by Paul Miller »

Looks like Berserker Day is going to be chockfull of Chenin. Anyone taste from the participants and have thoughts? Looks interesting - I'm intrigued.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#35 Post by J.Vizuete »

I would recommend to check out Beau Rivage.

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=176843

Here's my last note on the 2017 from 12/2020 - I WROTE: 94 points
"Tasted with the winemaker, this bottle was chilled then opened and consumed around 55-60*F, which would be preferable to a colder temp.

I’ve had 5 or so bottles of the 2017 and this was solidly the best experience by a point or two. The nose is expressive and just nearly smells like chardonnay with clean linen, pear and white peach. On the palate, you have more typical Chenin flavors of honey and orchard fruit. At 11.8% alcohol, it comes across the palate like a Saumur blanc, with richness, minerals and some chalky extract. The winemaker thought it could be improved upon by lowering yields to further intensify and lengthen the finish. I’ll have to take his word but did not find it to suffer from a lack of depth.

Apparently the fruit is from a humble source, but the choices in the vineyard and cellar, from picking blocks, organic farming, lees contact, and neutral cooperage make this one of the best young Chenins I’ve ever tasted. Equal in quality to Sandlands in my personal view, if a bit more of an “old world” expression. I can’t wait to restock."
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#36 Post by Anton D »

If there is a chance that you could like it, start with Didier Dagueneau and go from there.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#37 Post by Kirk.Grant »

Noah C wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:16 pm Could someone please help me appreciate Chenin Blanc? There is so much love for this varietal among Somms and wine geeks, but I have to say that I just don't get it. The descriptions are of wines that are right up my alley. I should love it...I mean, it's versatility is interesting, but to me it seems like the iPhone of grapes; it can do lots of things in a mediocre sort of way. iPhones can play music, but not like a stereo system w/ a turn table. They can take photos, but not as well as a good film camera. They make phone calls, but not as reliably as a freaking landline.

Likewise, sweet Chenin is nice, but I prefer Sauternes or Auslese Riesling. Sparkling Vouvray is nice, but not as good as Champagne. Dry white Chenin can be good, but I like Chardonnay more. I was intrigued by the ageability of Savennieres, bought a couple bottles with 20 yrs of age, and they were not good (one oxidized, the other so-so).

I want to love Chenin, I really do. Please help! What am I missing? Any recommendations for a purchase?
Noah,

What are some specific white wines you already like & really appreciate (producers, regions, etc)?

That will help get you to the right place in my mind.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#38 Post by wspohn »

The answer is Savennieres but you need to age it for 6-7 years (it will hold for many years more than that usually). If you need confirmation split a bottle of something like a Joly Coullee de Serreant (with enough friends to pay for it) and then open a bottle of aged Baumard or Closel.
Last edited by wspohn on January 20th, 2021, 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#39 Post by Keith Levenberg »

wspohn wrote: January 20th, 2021, 12:02 pm The answer is Savennieres but you need to age it for 6-7 years (it will hold for many years more than that usually). If you need confirmation split a bottle of something like a Joly Coullee de Serreant (with enough friends to pay for it).
yikes, no. Joly is, um, like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#40 Post by Markus S »

I'm not going to make you do anything you don't want to do.
Been there, done that - there's no thanks to that charge.
If you have tried chenin blanc but don't seem to "get it", don't worry, there are other grapes for you, try a timmarasso instead (thicker, more Rhone-like) and see if it floats your boat. Don't beat yourself up.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#41 Post by Dale Williams »

Anton D wrote: January 20th, 2021, 11:10 am If there is a chance that you could like it, start with Didier Dagueneau and go from there.
I've never had or seen a Dagueneau Chenin. But some nice SB!

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#42 Post by JohnP »

I'm loving CA chenin blanc and it seems to becoming more popular lately. Aperture makes a tasty one. I've also heard Sandlands offers a killer chenin blanc from Sierra Foothills, their release is coming up later this month and will likely be buying..
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#43 Post by Shoshana Filene »

Jayson Cohen wrote: January 19th, 2021, 11:08 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote: January 19th, 2021, 9:24 pm Well, that is true for sure. If you've got a good 40 years to spare the demi-secs can pay dividends!
Chenin grown on limestone and silex and made in a reductive style is so anti-oxidant that you don’t need to wait 40 years. Just buy a well-stored 40 year old Vouvray.

A suggestion mentioned upstream was 2008 Huet. Killer vintage at all RS levels. That’s a place to start. The 2008 Le Mont Demi-sec made me a little dizzy last time I had it, it was that good. It’s a very similar vintage to 1996, also a good place to start like you mentioned, Keith.

But for current release I’d recommend buying one bottle of each of the 2019 Huet Clos de Bourg and Le Mont Sec. Anyone who doesn’t like those probably doesn’t like dry Chenin and should pass.

Other possibilities for different styles of high quality Chenin in the Loire: Andre Foucault’s Domaine Collier Saumur Blanc, Baudry Croix Boisee, Richard Leroy’s wines, Jacky Blot, Eric Nicolas at Bellerive. There are also a lot more out there, especially on Schist.

A major issue however because of global warming is alcohol. Most Savennieres is too big now, and the wines at 14+% are often ponderous. I would personally avoid anything over 13.5%, and even that is almost pushing it for me. The 2019 Huet Secs were about 13.5%.
Great content here. I don't drink a lot of Chenin personally. I like it a lot...there are just only so many hours in a day and I tend to gravitate first to other things. That being said Andre Foucault’s Domaine Collier Saumur Blanc is just phenomenal. After Huet that is the one I seek out the most.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#44 Post by Anton D »

Dale Williams wrote: January 20th, 2021, 1:10 pm
Anton D wrote: January 20th, 2021, 11:10 am If there is a chance that you could like it, start with Didier Dagueneau and go from there.
I've never had or seen a Dagueneau Chenin. But some nice SB!
You know, until a few minutes ago, I would have bet you that Pur Sang was Chenin Blanc...I looked and it is not!

Embarrassment emoji: blush

[cheers.gif]
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#45 Post by dvansteenderen »

Lot's of good suggestions already, some of my recommendations (most mentioned already):

Sparkling
  • Champalou Vouvray Brut
Saumur
  • Guiberteau Brézé and Clos des Carmes


Vouvray
  • Huet Le Mont Sec and Clos du Bourg Sec
Montlouis
  • François Chidaine Les Bournais
Savennières
  • Pierre Bise Clos Le Grand Beaupréau, had 2016 last Friday and it was very delicious, the 2016 Clos de la Hutte of Thibaud Baudignon served alongside was "the better wine", however more for future drinking while the Pierre Bise was singing already
Off-dry
  • Huet Demi-Sec and Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon (older vintages) come to mind
Sweet
  • Huet Vin de Constance
And if not from France:

South-Africa
  • Jean Daneel Signature and Directors Signature
USA
  • Beau Rivage
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#46 Post by PFMay »

dvansteenderen wrote: January 20th, 2021, 2:05 pm
Sweet
  • Huet Vin de Constance
I did a double take here, as Vin de Constance is the sweet wine made from Muscat by South Africa's Klein Constancia in Constancia Valley - I think you are referring to Huet's Cuvee Constance.

Talking of South Africa - as it has as many plantings of Chenin as the rest of the world put together, and they've been making it for more than 350 years that's where you'll find more and IMIO the best expressions of the grape.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#47 Post by Doug Schulman »

Keith Levenberg wrote: January 20th, 2021, 12:09 pm
wspohn wrote: January 20th, 2021, 12:02 pm The answer is Savennieres but you need to age it for 6-7 years (it will hold for many years more than that usually). If you need confirmation split a bottle of something like a Joly Coullee de Serreant (with enough friends to pay for it).
yikes, no. Joly is, um, like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates.
Yes. I have loved some of the Joly wines I've had, but I would never suggest them as an introduction to anything because they're so incredibly variable. Except maybe an extremely well stored 2001 Coulee de Serrant. The newer vintages made by Virginie seem to be cleaner and more consistent, but I doubt any of the are ready to drink.

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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#48 Post by Brian Tuite »

You don’t have to love/get something just because someone else does. There is an upside to this and it’s financial. I’d be happy to have one more wine I don’t have to buy and/or cellar.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#49 Post by Vince T »

PFMay wrote: January 21st, 2021, 3:34 am Talking of South Africa - as it has as many plantings of Chenin as the rest of the world put together, and they've been making it for more than 350 years that's where you'll find more and IMIO the best expressions of the grape.
Which do you recommend? In my limited experience, they've ranged from acceptable to good, quaffable wines; maybe one or two even very good. But like chenin from CA, nothing to rival the nuance or depth of a Chidaine or Francois Pinon, let alone a Huet.
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Re: Please help me love Chenin Blanc

#50 Post by PFMay »

Two recent wines that I found very impressive were Delheim 'Wild Ferment' 2018 and De Morgenzon - any of them, and Ken Forrester's FMC is a powerhouse.

But with so much Chenin, there are so many styles. Plenty to explore - if available where you are.
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