Meet the Winners: Global Chenin Blanc Trophy 2022
Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley where Chenin Blanc is from.
Why we love Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc is native to the Loire Valley in France where it makes incredibly long-lived dry and sweet as well as sparkling wines. It is the white grape behind such famous appellations as Vouvray, Saumur, Montlouis and Savennières. It has naturally high acidity and this stands it in good stead in its adopted second home, South Africa, although it also thrives in many other countries like New Zealand and Spain.
The trophy winners
Our winning wine, 2019 Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc, hails from Gisborne, New Zealand, a ripe, expressive and layered wine from the Te Arai vineyard that seems made for the table as it reveals ever fresh nuances of flavour. The family behind Millton, pioneers of biodynamic farming in New Zealand, had a real hunch when they planted this.
A South African Chenin, 2020 Stellenrust 56 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc, takes second place. Like so many fine South African wines, this one from Stellenrust is made from the fruit of really old vines – in this case they were 56 years old. Fermented in barrel, it is a complex, nutty wine that comes with lovely depth.
The third place goes to 2020 Couly-Dutheil Les Chanteaux. The Couly-Dutheil wine from Chinon is one of the Loire’s greatest producers and appellations. While it has tropical fruit notions from the warm 2020 vintage, it also has the unmistakeable conifer scent of the Loire.
The top three in detail
- 2019 Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc, 94 Falstaff points
- 2020 Stellenrust 56 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc, 93 Falstaff points
- 2020 Couly-Dutheil Les Chanteaux, 93 Falstaff points
Blind tastings are an integral part of every magazine that covers wine. At Falstaff, both in our quarterly print editions and online at falstaff.com, we feature themed wine competitions – which we call “Trophies” – to pitch wines against each other under a common theme, be it varietal, regional or stylistic.
Next up: Falstaff International Global Rosé Trophy 2022
Falstaff's next Trophy is all about the pink stuff – it is themed around global Rosé wines.
We invite producers from around the globe to submit rosé wines of any hue – from pale pink to deep copper – in two categories: dry and off-dry/medium sweet.
The results will be published in our summer issue, out in mid-June, in readiness for summer drinking.
If you are a winery or importer interested in taking part, please click on the link below:
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