Your top 10 Chenin Blanc bottlings

Inspired by a post from Lyle a month or so ago that peaked my interest in Chenin blanca I am curious what others would say are their top 10 bottlings of Chenin. Doesn’t Ede to be different producers at all…if your to 10 are all Chidaine or Huet or Foreau so be it!

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Okay, I’ll bite. I haven’t had many of the legends (Goutte d’Or, Cuvee Constance), and they’re some big holes I need to address (never had any Joly wines), but in my limited experience, these producers/vineyards are consistent winners:

  1. Huet Demi-Sec Le Mont
  2. Chidaine Clos du Breuil
  3. Baumard Quarts de Chaume [berserker.gif]
  4. Closel Clos du Papillon
  5. Baumard Trie Speciale
  6. Huet Sec Clos du Bourg
  7. Chidaine Clos Habert
  8. Huet Petillant Brut
  9. Domaine des Aubuisières Cuvée de Silex
  10. Baumard Coteaux du Layon Clos de Ste. Catherine

Broadly, I gravitate toward Loire. Never end up with anything ultra expensive, and I haven’t had a huge sampling. With that said, stuff I’ve liked includes:

Loire -

  • Domaine Des Augustins Vouvray Silex,
  • François Chidaine - various offerings
  • Huet - various, prefer those with less sweetness
  • Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée de Serrant (when I can find it on sale)

This time of year, I also like some of the South African Chenins for casual deck quaffing, but would rather have a lightly oaked or unoaked chard from there if I can find it (e.g Springfield Wild Yeast).

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I went deep in the Loire for the ‘10 vintage; mostly Huet, Chidaine and Foreau. I’ve only opened my Huet Secs from all three vineyards. I haven’t opened any Demi’s or Moelleux. Far and away, my fave’ is the '10 Huet Le Mont Sec, but granted, I don’t have much from '10 to compare.

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No domestic? 2011 Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin is pretty special for $11

Domestic Chenin Blanc?

2011 Madeleine Chenin Blanc L’Arsouille.

Unbelievably good. Had my last bottle yesterday and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy more.


Graham beck is pretty solid if u don’t mind some oak.

The best Chenin I’ve ever had is the old block from Chalone. 07 is the last one of these I tasted.

Huet Petillant Brut
Foreau Vouvray Brut, Cuvee 2004-2005

Vouvray Sec
Huet Le Mont

Vouvray Demi-Sec
Huet Clos du Bourg
Chidaine Le Bouchet

Vouvray Moelleux
Huet Clos du Bourg 1er Trie
Huet Constance

Pinon Tradition

Baumard Papillon
Joly Sacres
Closel Jalousie

Renou Zenith

Quarts du Chaume

Might be more than ten.

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I don’t think I would change any of these. Nice list Brad. [cheers.gif]

Thanks, Joe. One that I wish was on the list, but have never had the opportunity to try, is the Foreau Goutte d’Or.

I’d add some of the chenins of Pascal Janvier to this list, especially if QPR is a factor. These wines surprise me (in a good way) every time I open one. I’ve most recently enjoyed his 2011 Coteaux du Loir and his 2011 Jasnieres Cuvee du Silex.

I just saw an offering for 09 of this wine. Steep price tag. Exceptionally rare, it appears from CT. Anyone have any experience?

I can’t list 10, but I will say that Chidaine again wowed me recently in the 08 Le Bouchet. The Huet Secs were all very good in 2010 and the recent 2010 Foreau Sec nearly removed my head when it spun it around. None of these are novel to the posts above but I thought I’d offer a voice as to mine. FWIW, I try and buy all the various Chidaine, only the Huet Secs and just now figured how good Foreau Sec is.

Across all of these producers, I have over 30 bottles of chenin in my cellar so I’m down with the varietal, for sure.

You may want to double check the vintage. Foreau only made a Goutte D’Or in '47, '90 and '11.

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I love the jasnieres of Christine de Mianville. all vinified dry, and a tiny estate (300 cases), but really nice. We were just there, but I don’t imagine they get a lot of visitors. Also like jacky Blot’s Carburoches sec.


Brad, he’s thinking of the '11 – I got the same offer.

As for the base question, I don’t think I can name 10…

I will say that Baumard Quarts de Chaume is one of my favorites (yes, I know there’s a debate about vinification techniques)

Chidaine has not failed to overachieve every time I’ve had it

And I went to a Foreau tasting last week where the wines, top to bottom, were excellent… But some particular standouts were the 07 brut reserve, the 08 Demi sec, and the 09 moelleux reserve…

I haven’t had any cuvée Constance yet, but looking forward to the two bottles of 89 I bought

Thanks for the replies! I have tried two Chidaines in the last couple weeks - 05 Le Bouchet and 08 Les Choisilles - that were just phenomenal and an 05 Huet Le Mont Sec from half bottle that was equally as good. That got me thinking that I should explore these a little more since i particularly liked the acidity and flavor of the two sec wines.

A few other producers not mentioned:

Clos Rougeard
Jean-Pierre Robinot
Tegan Passalacqua

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