Savennières, Montlouis, Vouvray, Anjou, Saumur, Coteaux du Layon: Chenin Blanc is the star grape of many flagship appellations of the Loire Valley, where it is vinified as a mono-varietal. A a result, Chenin Blanc offers an astonishing palette of white wines, including great dry and sweet wines.
The history of the Chenin grape variety remains relatively unknown. Hear of say and tradition places the origin of Chenin in the Touraine region. It presumably takes its name from Montchenin, a small village located near Cormery, to the south east of the city of Tours. As for the genetic origins of the grape, scientific analyses are formal: Chenin Blanc is a direct descendant of the savagnin grape variety. Savagnin is mostly found in the French Jura wine region, south of Alsace, where it is used for the production of the famous “Vin Jaune”.
The Chenin Blanc grape / varietal produces Loire Valley wines with a beautiful yellow color in their youth, with fairly high acidity and concentration. On the nose and on the palate, Chenin Blanc reveals aromas of citrus (lemon) and green fruits (apple, pear). Some wines even draw on more subtle flavors of peaches or sweeter notes of pineapple, acacia, and even quince and honey.
Savennières, Montlouis, Vouvray, Anjou, Saumur, Coteaux du Layon : these are all emblematic Loire Valley wine appellations. And what do all of these appellations have in common? Chenin Blanc!
In Vouvray, the tangy notes mingle with honey to reveal the greatest expressions of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray is one of the most diversified wine appellation in the Loire Valley : from dry white wines to sparkling wines, including sweet wines, it is all there! Less known, the Montlouis-sur-Loire appellation, which is located on the opposite bank of the Loire river and also produces great white wines.
About forty kilometers south-west of the city of Tours can be found Chinon Blanc. Also produced from Chenin Blanc, in a wine region dominated by the famous red wines of Chinon (made form Cabernet Franc). White Chinon wines are rare but just exceptional in quality (only 2% of the total production of Chinon wines).
Further downstream of the Loire river, can be found the white wines of Saumur and Anjou where Chenin produces denser, more concentrated and somewhat more austere wines. The most famous of all in this area are Savennières dry white wines. As for sweet wines, Anjou is also the home to celeb’ wine appellations, masters in the art of noble rot : Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux, Quarts de Chaume, Coteaux de l’Aubance…
Our selection of Loire Valley wines: flagship producers but also great wines to be discovered from a new generation of passionate winegrowers.