Tag Archives: Chenin Blanc

Wine of the Week – – Domaine Vincent Careme Cuvee “T” Vouvray

This Brut Cuvee “T” 2014 from Domaine Vincent Careme was made using the traditional sparkling wine method with a second fermentation in the bottle. The wine, made and bottled by Tania and Vincent Careme, is made with Chenin Blanc grapes.

Fresh and delicious, it’s a perfect wine for summer sipping. The winery began in 1999 and is located on 37 acres which are home to trellished bush vines, an average of 35 years old. The soil consists of clay and flint. The cellar is described as a “traditional 16th century troglodytic cave” carved in limestone rock.

The wine, with 12 percent ABV, gets a second fermentation for one month in the bottle with no added sugar. Notes of citrus and apple are prevalent and the wine is effervescent and fresh with what the winery’s owners, Vincent and Tania, call “racy” acidity. It is distributed by Cape Classics.

Wine of the Week -M De Mulonniére Chenin Blanc 2015

Chateau De La Mulonniére began making wine in 1860. In 2002, the Saget family acquired the estate, focusing on the terroir and traditional flora.

Their second wine, the M label, introduces wine lovers to the wines of the Anjou. The Saget family comes from Pouilly-sur-Loire and, as they put it, “sought other treasures that our beautiful wine reigon could offer.”

This lovely wine, which some call the next great white wine, is from Anjou (Loire Valley) and composed of 100 percent Chenin Blanc. We’re big fans of it and would like to see it on more wine by the glass lists.
The grapes are hand harvested from schist and clay vineyards, vinified with slow maceration at low temperature and aged in barrels for nine months.

There are hints of almond, acacia, grape and honey. Wine Spectator, which recently gave the wine 89 points, detected ginger, quince and yellow apples.

We found it soft and engaging, balanced and long lasting. The wine, like its sister Loire wines, reflect the accessibility of the region, and the value they offer to both restaurants/bars and to their guests. The wine is imported by Pasternak Wine Imports.

Whites rule in summer months!

Dry, cool, refreshing white wines rule on hot summer days. From California’s Russian River Valley to the Loire Valley, we’ve recently discovered two that enhance the day and deliver pleasure.

Balletto 2015 Chardonnay, Teresa’s Unoaked comes from the Russian River Valley in California’s Sonoma County with its cool, foggy climate. It’s been consistent gold medal winner in various competitions.

John Balletto began making wine after starting out as a farmer right after high school and his dad’s untimely death. In 1998, three El Nino storms destroyed several plantings, each of which cost several million dollars. The home ranch had plantings of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, and Balletto began converting his vegetable acres to vineyards. Check out http://www.BallettoVineyards.com.

This Chardonnay was  grown in the Sebastopol Hills area with its steep 800 ft. elevation where the winery’s goal was expressive and pure offerings. Seeking to capture the essence of Chardonnay which it calls “pure, crisp and pretty,” and this vintage does that well. It’s 13.7% ABV with bright fruit aromas and earthy notes. Nicely structured, it’s a treat.

From the Loire Valley comes M De Mulonniére Chenin Blanc from Anjou. The Chateau has been making excellent wines since 1860. The Saget family acquired it in 2000.

This 12.5% ABV Chenin Blanc is bright and almost tingles. It’s soft and fresh, well balanced with notes of almond and acacia, grape and honey. It’s subtle and enchanting. Visit http://www.PasternakWine.com or http://www.Mulonniére.com. Serve as an aperitif – we think you’ll want more after the very first sip! 20160805_114336.jpg20160805_114032.jpg

Raats Original Chenin Blanc, 2013

We admit South African wines are among our favorites. Bruwer Raats was called “the most exciting and forward thinking winemaker in Stellenbosch, winning 86 points from Neal Martin (Wine Spectator) and many accolades and honors.


We loved the 2013 Chenin Blanc with its fruity notes of melon, apple, pineapple and lime and great minerality. The 35 year-old vines produce grapes, and subsequently wines that are both powerful and elegant. This unwooded offering’s fruitiness is attributed to one of two types of soils, one with decomposed granite and a second, responsible for its minerality, from the sandstone. The wines are produced without wood (oak) aging, celebrating Chenin in its natural state, says Raats, who celebrates its “vibrant freshness” and flavors. Go to www.raats.co.za or www.pasternakwine.com.

Wine of the Week

Ken Forrester Vineyards 2011 Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc and Dornier The Pirate of Cocoa Hill 2010

This is our first ‘double’ wine of the week post! Both come from South Africa, one white – the Chenin Blanc which is a signature grape, and the Cocoa Hill, a blend of Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc.
The Forrester, with its golden color, offers melon and baked apple scents as well as caramel and honey flavors. It’s well balanced between its fruit and oak/vanilla flavors and won top South Africa Wine Status for 2011 along with a bronze medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2012. Full bodied, it has 14.5 percent alcohol by volume. Serve with spicy, full flavored fish or chicken dishes. Go to http://www.kenforresterwines.com/

The Dornier, with its tale of a dashing Table Bay pirate who fled from the seas and gave up his loot to plant some vines and gaze out at the bay, is spicy and full, plummy with red berry fruits and supple tannins. Lively, well structured and balanced nicely by the Cabernet Franc, this wine was impacted by high winds which reduced the amount of fruit and intensified and concentrated flavors. Cocoa Hill is a hilltop with decomposed red soils in Stellenbosch Mountain. The wine’s alcohol content is 14.5 percent. Visit http://www.dornier.co.za

Wine of the Week – Nederburg Chenin Blanc 2011

Nederburg, part of Distill Wines, believes that fine South African wines are “born in the vineyard.” This Chenin Blanc offers tropical notes such as guava along with peach and is fresh and crisp, perfect for summer sipping, with nice acidity. The vines are well sited and nurtured to create distinctive wines. Visit http://www.nederburg.com/za/