Chenin Blanc has to be the most versatile grape on the planet. A chameleon that takes on a different character according to where it’s planted and how it’s made. What other grape can produce such an infinite variety of wine styles? Dry, off-dry, semi-sweet, dessert style, unoaked, oaked and sparkling – the challenge with Chenin Blanc (if there is one) is to pin it down to a particular wine style. Or is it? Why not just embrace the fact that Chenin is a so called ‘carrier of terroir’ and that even within a single appellation you will find a myriad of different wine styles. Take Anjou for example – while many will automatically think of the luscious sweet wines from the hills of the Layon, Anjou also makes steely whites full of character in Savennières, richer, more evolved styles of Chenin under the Anjou Blanc appellation and some wonderfully fresh sparkling wines too. This is the land of ‘black Anjou’ where slate dominates and has a dramatic affect upon wine style.
Don’t try and pigeon hole Chenin Blanc – embrace its diversity and enjoy discovering the host of different wine styles that it produces.