Rich, unoaked Chenin Blanc made in an unoaked style, Florent Baumard’s wine is quite forward in style, with soft pear and ripe apple flavours, a touch of honey and some nectarine sweetness. A well priced introduction to sweet Loire wines.
Kleine Zalze deserves to be more famous than it is in South Africa. It consistently turns out a very good range of commercial wines, as well as smaller quantities of top end stuff. This belongs in the latter category and it’s a great example of ripe, tropically fruity Cape Chenin. Pineapple and melon notes are balanced by the refreshing acidity that’s the variety’s calling card and rounded out by subtle oak fermentation.
Ken “Mr Chenin” Forrester has done as much as anyone to resurrect the reputation of the Cape’s best white variety in the last decade or so. This off-dry example from 35-year-old vines is typical of his deceptively drinkable style. Nutmeg spice, pear and an undertone of tropical fruit combine nicely here, with Chenin’s characteristic acidity providing a bite of welcome acidity.
This Cape blend of Chenin, Viognier, Chardonnay and Clairetter Blanche won’t be to everyone’s taste – it’s got some age to it and a developed, Sherry-like not – but I salute its ambiiton and left field flavours. Rich and honeyed, with some vanilla and nutmeg spice, fresh acidity and bags of concentration. Appealingly funky.
An organic blend of Garnatxa Blanca, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay from one of the most dynamic producers in the region, this is a modern, oaky white showing flavours of pear and apple with some cinnamon spice and tangy acidity.
Possibly a little closed at the moment, but this dry Loire Chenin Blanc hints at good things to come in the glass. Tangy, taut and crisp, with pure green apple fruit, lovely focus and a minerally backdrop. Time should confer more weight and some honeyed, bottle-developed characters.
Sweet wine heaven! I often prefer the Chenin Blancs from the Loire to Sauternes and, sure enough, this is a candidate for my dessert wine of the year. It’s very rich, yet elegant and poised at the same time, with only 11.5% alcohol. Honey, apple, quice and vivid acidity combine to perfection on your tongue. A remarkable wine that only seems to get better with age.
Rightly awarded Five Stars in the recent edition of South Africa’s Platter Guide, this is a sublime Cape Chenin Blanc. It’s made in a Chenin meets Chardonnay style, with vanilla-scented barrel fermentation and some nice texture from the lees. The Chenin part provides fresh acidity, notes of apple and subtle tropical fruit and a fine finish. The wine should develop further over the next two or three years.
The 2011 vintage was a tricky one in the Loire, but this wine is gloriously unaffected. It’s a pure, dry, oak-matured Chenin Blanc which combines notes of apples, honey and pears with some sweet vanilla and assertive, mouthwatering acidity. A delicious wine from the talented Jacky Blot.
You only get a half bottle of this for your money, but I wouldn’t complain. When they are this good, Loire sweet wines wipe the winery floor with similarly priced stickies from Sauternes. There’s some old oak used to age the wine, but it’s just there as a background note, supporting the stylish, minerally, honey and ripe pear flavours. This is liquid tarte tatin, a delicious Coteaux du Layon from the Premier Cru slopes of Chaume.