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Loire Valley Chenin Blanc: a style guide

Chenin Blanc is considered an international grape variety with a presence in South Africa, New Zealand and the USA, however its true nature comes into its own in France's Loire Valley. This style guide covers the range of styles available comprising sparkling, dry, off-dry and sweet and includes 30 tasting notes and scores with top buys in each category.

When it comes to white wines from the Loire Valley, Sancerre and Sauvignon Blanc may be the first to come to the minds of many wine drinkers, but it is Chenin Blanc that reigns supreme in the central part of the Loire that spans the regions of Anjou, Saumur and Touraine.

With its northerly latitude, vine cultivation in the Loire is only possible where vineyards are situated on the flanks of a south facing slope. The glistening of the river reflects sunlight up to the vineyards which adorn its banks, aiding in the ripening of the grapes. This is Chenin’s spiritual home.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 30 Loire Chenin Blancs

Loire Chenin Blanc: key styles

Known locally as Pineau de la Loire, the wines come in a multitude of styles – sparkling, dry, off-dry and sweet. Here’s what to expect from each style, along with some great examples to try.

Tasting notes and scores for 30 Loire Chenin Blancs

Wines are listed in score order per category; sparkling, dry, off-dry and sweet. 

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