South African Chenin Blanc: panel tasting results

Greg Sherwood MW, Beverley Blanning MW and Roger Jones tasted 223 wines with 28 Outstanding and 108 Highly recommended.

South African Chenin Blanc: panel tasting scores

223 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 28

Highly recommended 108

Recommended 82

Commended 5

Fair 0

Poor 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release Chenin Blanc still whites, including single-varietal wines or blends containing a minimum 85% Chenin Blanc

Until the late 1990s, Chenin Blanc was the workhorse of South Africa’s wine industry – the principal variety used for brandy distillation, as well as the base wine of most commercial bulk white blends. But over the past three decades the value of Chenin Blanc, in price and perception, has rocketed.

Part of the grape’s popularity arose due to its chameleon-like ability to make almost any style of wine: from traditional-method Cap Classique sparklings to sweet botrytised dessert styles, and everything in between. Today, Chenin Blanc still constitutes 18.6% of the Cape’s vineyard plantings.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores from the South African Chenin Blanc panel tasting

In one of Decanter’s biggest-ever panel tastings, we tasted 223 cuve?es from across South Africa. It was a fascinating three days of judging in which we were impressed by the quality and consistency of winemaking and breadth of different styles, particularly from the elegantly fresh 2021 vintage.

South African Chenin Blanc: panel tasting results  
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