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CHEESE PAIRING:
Mascarpone
Double Gloucester
Goat
Dry Jack
Gorgonzola
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Though not very popular in the United States, this grape is most well-known for the lovely wines it creates in the Loire Valley of France. These wines are made in many different styles from bone dry to dessert sweet, including sparkling varieties as well. They are generally viscous on the palate with mineral notes coming from the climate and the soil. Chenin is also the white wine mainstay of South Africa, which makes a slightly bolder, dry version. For white wines, these are fairly inexpensive and provide a great alternative to other more costly varietals. Of course, their relatively small quantities make them harder to come by. Well-known French regions to try include (driest to sweetest): Saumur (sparkling), Savennieres, Anjou, Vouvray and Coteuax du Layon. Outside France, your best bet to find well-crafted versions is South Africa, which are generally cheaper ($10-$15) than those from France ($15-$25). The few California producers aren't yet worth the trouble. These are wines with great class that can be astrigent when young and often requires many years in the bottle to come into their own. One of the only white grapes that needs time to mellow and that can age for quite a long time.

WHAT TO EXPECT: A medium-bodied, crisply acidity wine with floral and fruity aromas (honeysuckle, melon, quince) and notes of flint and vanilla, depending on the aging process. New World versions are meant to drink young, Old World ones need some time and the sweeter bottlings can be aged for decades. The sparkling versions are light and acidic with more fruit flavors and aromas than their Champagne brethren.



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spacer.gif2007 Pascal Janvier Jasnieres, Loire Valley, FranceRATING: ***
spacer.gif2006 Husch Vineyards Chenin Blanc, Anderson Valley, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Kanu Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South AfricaRATING: **
spacer.gif2004 Rudera Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South AfricaRATING: **
spacer.gif1990 Prince Poniatowski Vouvray Clos Baudoin, Loire Valley, FranceRATING: ***



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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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