On June 18th, the world will come together to celebrate Drink Chenin Blanc Day. Ok, that may be an overstatement, but if you know Chenin, then you can see how plausible a total world celebration could be.
Chenin Blanc is a wonderous white grape from the Loire Valley in France. The grape was later brought to South Africa, where it has seen tremendous success. In fact, South Africa is now the largest producer of Chenin Blanc worldwide, and vintners such as Mullineux and Beaumont show you how incredible Chenin can be in South Africa. Note that the grape is also grown in other parts of the world, but what you really need to know, as far as Chenin Blanc is concerned, is the Loire and South Africa.
Chenin is beloved mainly because of its versatility.
This is one grape you can see in dry, off-dry, sweet, or sparkling formats. In the category of a dry, you can even expect to see it done and treated in various ways, from light with zippy acidity being the feature, to seeing oak and slight oxidation and giving you many levels of flavours in your glass. Moreover, Chenin's bright acidity keeps it on many pairing menus as it plays so well with so many dishes.
In My Glass
In my glass today is Château de Parnay Chemin des Murs Saumur Blanc 2020.
Château de Parnay is in the Loire Valley, and the vines used to make this wine are from a walled area on the property, Clos Chemin des Murs. I have paired this highly quaffable Chenin with grilled shrimp, scallops, and even conversation. Lime, apricot, and ripe pear on the nose with that robust acidity, grapefruit, green apple, and straightforward minerality on the palate. This classic and authentic expression of Chenin Blanc should be on your hit list!
So, on June 18th, I encourage you to raise a glass of Chenin Blanc in celebration.