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From the archive: Dry Loire Chenin Blanc – panel tasting results

Our experts praised the diversity and value of these ageable Loire Chenin Blancs, many from the 2015 and 2014 vintages. Read the full report below.

Published in the February 2017 issue of Decanter magazine and now available online and in full, exclusively for Premium subscribers.

  • 169 wines tasted, with one rated Outstanding

  • ‘A positive tasting that showed off the terroir-driven nature of dry Loire Chenin Blanc and its differing styles,’ said our panel of Jim Budd, Chris Kissack and Ben Llewelyn


With 169 wines entered, we had the opportunity to assess Chenin Blanc from across the Loire, writes Jim Budd in Decanter’s February 2017 issue. It was also very positive that there was such a good entry despite the recent short vintages and the effects of 2016’s late April frost on stock.

Loire Chenin Blanc: the facts

Also known as Pineau de Loire, but use of this name is dying out

Chenin plantings in Loire 9,240ha (2014)

Chenin plantings in South Africa, by comparison 17,933ha (2014)

Dry white Loire appellations that can only use Chenin Montlouis, Chinon Blanc, Coteaux du Loir, Savennières, Touraine Amboise, Touraine Azay-le-Rideau, Jasnières (in Vouvray, 5% Arbois is permitted)

Dry Loire Chenin Blanc: know your vintages

2016 April frost, complicated year, good autumn means fine wines in tiny quantities. Too early to assess.

2015 Good vintage despite September rain. Rounder wines than ’14. Drink 2017-2035.

2014 Very good vintage saved by hot September. Classic wines with high acidity. 2018-2050.

2013 Late, small vintage saved by hot summer. Lean wines that may be ageing quickly. 2017-2025.

2012 April frost, small vintage, good wines with quite high acidity. 2017-2030.

2011 Early vintage, rot a problem. Drink these before your 2008s and 2010s.

2010 Long, hot autumn. Classic, with higher acidity than ’09.

2009 Hot year, rich wines. Not as ageworthy as ’08 or ’10. 2017-2030.

2008 Saved by Indian summer. Precise, balanced and long lived. 2017-2040.

Top dry Loire Chenin Blanc from the panel tasting:

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