The retirement project to sample the product of every major grape variety listed in Hugh Johnson’s pocket wine book.
Hugh Johnson says: “Wonderful white grape of the middle Loire. Wine dry or sweet but with plenty of acidity. Taken very seriously (alias Steen) in South Africa.”
What it says on the label: “Chenin Blanc’s roots are undoubtedly in the Loire Valley and can be traced back to the year 845. .. pays homage to those historical roots. With notes of citrus, pineapple and grapefruit on the nose, zesty and lightly honeyed on the palate.”
I say: This example isn’t so wonderful. It was sharp and tangy, but with no great structure or complexity. Not much fruit. It did get better as it lost the chill from the fridge, but it did not blow me away, and Jacqui didn’t finish her first glass.
Food combination: “This wine will complement Mediterranean food, hearty white meat, and sweet-and-sour dishes.” We drank it with a dish of roasted vegetables with chicken and chorizo, and finished it the next night with bowls of Jacqui’s chicken broth. The second tasting was nicer than the first, but I couldn’t say it was one of my favourites.
One for the wine rack? No.
It’s not about the wine: Henry “Curtmantle”, count of Anjou (present-day department of Maine-et-Loire) inherited the kingdom of England in 1154, becoming Henry II. The resulting Angevin empire would, at its peak, spread from Ulster to the Pyrenees.