I have always enjoyed wine from the Vouvray appellation where they make great Chenin Blanc, the majority of which is sparkling. This one happens to have a bit of bottle age and is a stunning deep gold color. 12.5% ABV shows off barely a leg in the glass but the color is exquisite. The nose has pronounced aromas of pineapple, pear, green apple, acacia and quince. I’m also getting a touch of honeysuckle. The palate is off-dry and full bodied. Wow, the fruit just coats my mouth. The acidity is medium (+) and the flavors are persistent- really ripe pineapple, green apple, fresh grated ginger, quince and floral notes of acacia and honeysuckle. The back end is stunning- ripe fruit, great acidity and tremendous balance that goes on for a while. This is a blockbuster of a white wine that will pair well with hearty fowl, Asian dishes, cheese boards and full throttle fish like Mackerel. 93 points from me make this $24 wine a no-brainer 5 point wine that will drink nicely till 2026. Salut….
Bright yellow in the glass. Nose of floral and tropical fruits with some elderflower. It almost smells sweet….
On the palate it is dry, crisp and full flavored. Stone fruit, flower blossoms and pineapple. There’s a green almond hint on the mid palate and medium acidity on the jaw. I picked this wine to pair with Sous Vide chicken confit- the crispy skin is going to go beautifully with this rich, full bodied Chenin Blanc that gets 89 points and for $ 20- 4 stars. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Light gold with small bubbles. On the nose it is briny with tons of floral undertones and a hint of sweetness. On the palate it is very fizzy with notes of baking spices, muted stone fruit flavors and a touch of summer flowers. I’m not getting too much out of this wine unfortunately. It gets 86 points from me with a drink till 2024 window. 2 stars for this $23 sparkler. Salut….
This South African Chenin is a bright gold color in the glass. On the nose I get flowers, melon, ripe plantain and a pink grapefruit note. The palate is very round and enticing. Flavors of melon, banana parfait, a touch of citrus and apple are all caressing my mouth. This wine really fills with flavor and body for a great mouthfeel. The mid palate is soft and continues the fruit melange theme. The long (30+seconds) finish reminds me of fruit salad with bananas. Fruity, flavorful and satisfying it’s easy to drink this 12.7% alcohol wine. I am really enjoying this it as I roast a Chicken with steamed green beans. It will drink well for a few years and gets 91 whopping points from me. For $18- 5 stars, wish I had more. Salut….
The second wine of Tasting #8 was another Chenin Blanc, this time from Vouvray. Served at room temperature first we noted a pale gold color. The nose was flowery, with honeycrisp apple, honey, green apples, honeysuckle and pear. The palate is somewhat sweet with several participants noting canned pear with it’s syrupy goodness. I got passion fruit but the wine had a bitter aftertaste.
The chilled version was very interesting. Oatmeal, burnt honey, Graham cracker, butter and white pepper were noted. The wine had more citrus on the finish and I tasted sweet tangerine and pear as well. I scored the chilled version the second highest wine of the night and really enjoyed this $25 wine, giving it 91 points and 5 stars. Pairing suggestions would include grilled Swordfish, roasted Quail or even Moussaka. Drink till 2026. Salut….
As with the past seven Virtual Wine tastings, it’s difficult for me to objectively write a review and run the tasting, so I take basic notes of what others are tasting and smelling.
This Chenin Blanc kicked off the evening with us tasting it at room temperature followed by a chilled glass of the same wine. It’s really amazing how the wine morphs when served at different temps. The one thing that is constant is the color- in this case a light golden shade, really pretty in the glass. The warm version gave us melon, fruity lemon, pear, citrus, stone fruit and green apple on the nose. The palate notes are ‘very fruity’, citrusy, tangerine, oakiness, lime and yellow apple.
The chilled version was a bit muted but introduced Brioche, minerality, piecrust, toast, green pepper, slightly more acidity and ‘crisp’.
Keep in mind there were 8 different bottles being served in different environments- some inside and some outside all up and down the east coast. My overall impression was that I enjoyed the room temp glass more as it was open for business and the nose and palate were fuller. I am going with 90 points and 5 stars for this $18 effort. Drink till 2024 with seafood, perhaps a grilled Salmon filet. Salut….
Pale yellow in the glass. On the nose I get watermelon, lime spritz and melon. On the palate it is fruity and flavorful- quince, pear and a buttery note. The mid palate continues the full bodied mouthfeel and flavor profile. The finish is decent in length and offers up some honey alongside yellow apple and more pear. It’s an interesting and tasty wine for sure, refreshing yet it has some depth and viscosity. The malolactic fermentation has given it a touch of butter and flab, enough to notice but not overdone. This wine will pair well with grilled Salmon, Cobb salad or baked Aubergine in tomatoes. Drink till 2024. For $13, this is a no-brainer to keep on hand. 88 points make it a 4 star effort. Salut….
Pale gold in the glass, it is crystal clear. On the nose there’s lemon, melon, pear and lychee. The palate echoes those flavors from front to the finish. There is a unique mouthfeel, effervescence, without the bubbles. The acidity is in check but not shy. It adds depth and cut. The Chenin Blanc varietal is widely found in France and South Africa. Differing climates produce variations on the flavor profile but this grape is very enticing, versatile and delicious. I am going with 88 points and 4 stars for this $9 offering that you should drink till 2022 with grilled chicken, sausage and mash or even smoked salmon. Salut….
We were over at our South African friend’s house for dinner and the hostess pulled this unfortified dessert gem out. I was not in much of a state to make notes, but I did scratch these down: Nose is unique- lanolin, beeswax, lemon curd, and turmeric. Orange marmalade and apricot jam are the key components on the palate. The finish is mid length, more orange notes yet the curry component still lingers. It is truly bizarre yet somewhat intriguing. I enjoyed it and appreciated the nuances of variety, the terroir differences and the subtle changes in style. 89 points from me and without any pricing info it’s hard to give it points. This Chenin Blanc is tasty and will pair beautifully with some Blue Cheese, Creme Brûlée or even some chocolate eclairs! Salut….