Country Classical area for Chenin Blanc is France - Loire region including Anjou-Saumur, Touraine. It also has quality plantings in South Africa.
Style It produces high acidity wines which are dry, but can in the right conditions produce sweet even Botrytised wines.
Flavours to expect Anywhere from green apples to citrus and stone fruits, may have an earthy vegetal quality and can be lean and minerally. With age it may take on honeyed toast and from mineral soils, a chalky, steely character.
Characteristics High acidity, lean wines which are light bodied. The high acidity is retained even at very high ripeness levels. It is susceptible to Botrytis / noble rot. The wine can age well.
Problems The grapes ripen late and evenly across the vineyard so are difficult/expensive to pick ( a number of 'trie' are needed) to avoid the unripe leafy flavours developing in the wine. It is not a fashionable grape variety. To maintain a high quality of grape ( so wine) the yields must be kept low 40-50 hl/ha for dry wines and 25hl/ha for sweeties.
Points of Note Limestone soils create wines with higher acidity whilst sandy soils produce lighter wines. Calcerous and clay based substrates give good weight and acidity!
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