Why You Should Drink More Chenin Blanc

Why You Should Drink More Chenin Blanc

Why You Should Drink More Chenin Blanc

We get asked about our “desert island wines'' more often than you’d think (or we’d like). And the truth is, our answers constantly change. Far more useful would be questions about our “apartment wines” - what we drink every day given real-world considerations like money, availability, and drinkability. Our answer to that is less variable: chenin blanc.

What’s so special about chenin? In short, versatility and value. Great versions can be as powerful and complex as White Burgundy, yet as crisp and salty as Chablis. They highlight the characteristics of specific vineyards around the Loire Valley, while developing a combination of acidity and richness that transcends seasons and food pairings. Having sea bass? Vietnamese? Fried chicken? Thanksgiving dinner? Chenin is a great choice for them all. Outside of chenin from the Loire, very few white wines can say the same. And the ones that can go for a whole lot more money. These producers are the best of the best.

Thibaud Boudignon

Thibaud Boudignon only began making wine under his own label in 2009. Since then, his rise to fame would make Lizzo’s seem gradual by comparison. The reason is simple: his wines have it all. They’re layered and complex, heavy on chenin’s trademark salty and stony notes. You can drink them with rich seafood dishes in the winter, or on their own poolside in the summer. We’d drink them every day if not for the fact that there’s so little to go around.

Domaine du Collier

There is no bigger name in the Loire Valley - and few in the whole world of wine - than Clos Rougeard. Antoine Foucault began working at Clos Rougeard under his father, Charly Foucault, before setting out on his own at the age of 26. Fast-forward two decades to present day, and Antoine now finds himself amongst the region’s greats. Like his father, he makes chenin that’s palate-coating and precise, age-worthy and incredibly scarce.

Domaine S. Bernaudeau

Stéphane Bernaudeau worked under Mark Angeli at Ferme de Sansonnière for 15 years. That’s the wine-equivalent of having Neil deGrasse Tyson as your physics tutor. Now, on just a few acres of land in Anjou, Stéphane has become an icon of both chenin blanc and natural winemaking. His wines are intense and rich, yet salty and fresh. His bottlings, which are often referred to as “unicorns” due to their rarity, all come from garden-sized plots of vines that range from old to centuries-old.

Domaine Guiberteau

In the town of Saumur, there’s a hill called Brézé that’s home to many of the best chenin blanc wines on earth. Romain Guiberteau farms some of the best plots on Brézé. Taking notes from his mentor, Nady Foucault of Clos Rougeard, Romain makes powerful, aromatic wines that should be given to anyone trying to understand the meaning of “minerality.”

Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups

Across the Loire River from Vouvray lies Montlouis-sur-Loire, an appellation that’s long been little more than a footnote compared to its famous neighbor. However, that’s all changing, thanks in large part to Jacky Blot. At Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups, Jackie uses organic grapes - his vineyards have been organic since the ‘80s - to produce bone-dry wines with the length and texture only found in the region’s very best wines.

Château de Bonnezeaux

It had been over 30 years since Château de Bonnezeaux had released a bottle of wine. Then in 2012, Guyonne Saclier de la Bâtie began farming chenin blanc on the abandoned vineyards. Like her mentor, the legendary Mark Angeli of Ferme de Sansonnière, she farms biodynamically and produces dry chenin blanc in areas better-known for sweet wines. Her single-parcel wines - ‘La Montagne’, ‘La Minée Haute’, and ‘Coquerie’ - are rich, salty, and complex. Simply put, they’re some of the most exciting white wines in the Loire today.

View Our Collection Of Chenin Blanc

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