Chinin blanc was a popular choice for sweet white wines in California during the mid-20th century, before chardonnay and sauvignon blanc became more popular. It’s been a decade since the state’s chenin blanc vineyards were rediscovered and a new generation of wine drinkers became interested in them.
If you’re looking for chenin blanc in any other place besides Limoux in the Languedoc, where it’s part of the Crémant de Limoux wine blend, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.
My plan for this month was for us to drink chenin blanc from the Touraine region of France, South Africa’s Swartland, and Dry Creek Valley of California. The purpose of the tasting is not to examine the terroir in minute detail, but rather to provide attendees with an opportunity to sample a wide range of wines. I recommend the following three:
Swartland Chenin Blanc Secateurs 2019 by A.A. Badenhorst, $16 at Broadbent Selections in Sonoma, CA.
Dry Creek Valley Saini Farms Chenin Blanc 2019 by Leo Steen costs $18.
For $35, Louis/Dressner Selections, New York offers Bernard Baudry Chinon Blanc Le Domaine 2019.
As a result of President Trump’s tariffs on some European wines and spirits in 2019, the price of the Baudry may have been increased, albeit this duty has been placed on hold for now as the United States and Europe strive to resolve their trade disagreements.
In the event that you are unable to locate these winemakers and are looking for a chenin blanc from South Africa, look no further than Ken Forrester and Thistle&Weed; thistle&weed; Raats Family; Mullineux; Storm Point; and Mother Rock; among California producers; Lo-Fi; Field Recordings; Sandlands; and Broc Cellars; and Lang&Reed and Rococo.