Chenin Blanc has a long history with the first recording in a land-grant dating back to 845. Chenin Blanc originally from Loire Valley in France now can be found in many areas like the United States, Argentina and today South Africa, where 50% of worldwide vineyards are planted. In South Africa it is known as Steen, but also around the world goes by the names of Vouvray, Savennieres and others.
Personally speaking, this was one of the first grape varietals I was exposed to and always enjoyed it as a refreshing wine. Today, with a further bit of education, I now understand that Chenin Blanc is a versatile grape ranging from cooler climates (providing more acidity) to warmer weather (giving more body) in general characteristics. Thriving with this range of terroir, Chenin Blanc can be sweet, dry, semi-sweet, and posses a light to medium heavy body.
This Vinum Cellars 2013 Chenin Blanc showed a pale straw yellow on the eyes and a medium viscosity. On the nose, aromatics of apple, honey dew and minerality appeared as the leaders on the senses. On the palate, jasmine, honey, lime citrus dominated in the mouth. The acidity was strong but not overpowering. Another unique characteristic especially of this wine, was the change over temperature. For every few degrees, you experienced an intriguing change of flavor profiles. The predominant flavor lead switched between lime, apple and lemon as well as honey, pear and minerality. Surely not to be confused as a chameleon but a wine steeped in strong transitional variations over temperature.
Admittedly, before doing this story, I had not a single bottle of Chenin Blanc in the cellar. I do believe, next summer and spring it will show up as a nice alternative to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Roussanne, Picpoul and other refreshing white wines.