Pour a Glass of Chenin Blanc on Drink Chenin Blanc Day!
Drink Chenin Blanc Day is on the 18th June, so what better time than to pour a glass of this versatile white wine and read all about Margaret River's other great white grape?
Read on to discover what this up-and-coming wine really is and what you can expect it to taste like.
What is Chenin Blanc?
Chenin Blanc (sheh-nun blonk) is a delicious white wine most famously produced in the Loire Valley, France and South Africa.
The variety was first recorded in France in the 1500s and was brought to South Africa in the 1600s, before eventually making its way to Australia 200 years later.
Today, Chenin Blanc is produced across the country, with the Swan Valley and Margaret River in Western Australia home to some incredible, world-class examples of this varietal.
If you’re looking for a comparative white wine, Chenin Blanc can resemble anything from a ripe style of Sauvignon Blanc to a complex Chardonnay.
Fun fact: South Africa accounts for over 50% of the world's Chenin Blanc vineyards, where it has previously been known by its Afrikaans name Steen, although more producers are using Chenin Blanc on their labels these days.
What does Chenin Blanc wine taste like?
Did you know that Chenin Blanc is one of the world’s most versatile grapes? It can be produced in a range of styles from dry and mineral with a steely acidity, to luscious, sweet and refreshing wines which can age for decades. Chenin Blanc can also be used to produce some delicious sparkling wines, the most famous of these is called Crémant de Loire – an exceptional French bubbles for a fraction of the price of Champagne!
Chenin Blanc is usually a dry wine (not sweet) and has a wide range of expressions ranging from tart pear, quince and ginger to richer flavours of ripe peach, honeycomb and toasted almond. This range is largely due to winemaking preferences, where the use of tank versus oak can influence the final flavour, texture and body of the wine. Tank ferments are used to ensure wines are fresh and fruit-forward with a zippy acidity. Oak can be used to impart richer flavours and a crunchy texture to the final wine – often compared to a Chardonnay in style.
At the table, Chenin Blanc’s naturally high acidity means it is perfect to pair with richer foods. The zippy acidity cuts through butter and cream and adds zing to protein dishes such as fish and poultry.
Chenin Blanc is making a comeback in a serious way, especially here in WA where the Swan Valley (also known as the capital of Chenin Blanc in Australia!) is producing some serious and complex expressions of this lesser-known variety. Winemaker Emma Gillespie said: "Chenin Blanc has a great natural acidity that holds up well to the warm Swan climate, whilst still developing a great flavour profile."
Her winemaking philosophy? "Don't make it like Chardonnay – let the fruit express itself in majority stainless steel tank, with a hint of barrel ferment to layer in the texture."
This wine exemplifies all the characteristics of a vibrant style of Swan Valley Chenin Blanc. Think crisp apples, lime and bright florals with a juicy, flavoursome and long finish. The 2022 Regional Chenin Blanc is a delicious, refreshing wine that will have you coming back for more.
Margaret River is producing some serious and site-specific Chenin Blanc, a variety that Chief Winemaker Julian Langworthy calls "Margaret River’s other great white grape."
When describing this wine, Julian said: “It is super exciting to put out a Chenin Blanc under the Deep Woods label. Sourced from the Yallingup Hills, right in the middle of the Deep Woods heartland. This wine has a lovely natural acidity and huge complexity from partial barrel ferment. A very versatile wine with a saline and slinky citrus drive.”
Partial barrel ferment has contributed to a more medium-bodied mouth feel, with ripe citrus, nectarine and honeydew flavours on the palate, followed by the Chenin hallmark – a racy natural acidity.
Purchase 5 bottles and receive your 6th for free! Simply add any 6 bottles of Chenin Blanc to your cart and the 6th is on us*. Use the code below at checkout to redeem this offer: CHENINBLANC
Browse our range of Chenin Blanc here.
*Please note that the free bottle will be the lowest priced item in your cart