Chenin Blanc is the Pinot parallel

25th June, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

Chenin Blanc is as complicated to grow but as rewarding as Pinot Noir in the right hands, according to one Loire Valley producer.

Eric Morget

Eric Morgat of Clos Ferrard among his Chenin vines in Savennières

Speaking to the drinks business during a recent trip to the region, Eric Morgat of Clos Ferrard in Savennières said: “Chenin Blanc is the white version of Pinot Noir in terms of its character. It can reach great heights but it’s hard to find good middle ground Chenin.

“When it’s great it shines. Winemakers in the Loire have a similar mentality to the Burgundians, but it’s far easier to make a good white Burgundy with Chardonnay than it is to make a standout Chenin in the Loire.

Chenin Blanc grapes

Chenin Blanc grapes

“Like Pinot Noir, Chenin is a finicky grape and is both hard to ripen and prone to noble rot. In order to make good Chenin you have to keep yields low.

Morgat admitted that in not being an aromatic grape, Chenin can often be austere in character with a bitter edge, though he believes it reflects the terroir better than any other white grape.

“In a great terroir, Chenin is exceptional and has a fantastic capacity to reflect the differences in terroir depending on where it’s grown. Also, there is nearly no age limit to Chenin, but it depends on the quality of the vintage,” he said.

Emmanuel of Domaine Ogereau in Coteaux du Layon is equally enthusiastic about Chenin Blanc’s capability to reflect its terroir: “We’re lucky in the Loire Valley as the region is like a mosaic in terms of the differences in soil types.

“Chenin Blanc is hard to grow but worth the effort. In order for it to successfully express the minerality of the soil it needs to be grown perfectly,” he told db.

“Chenin and sulphur make for a disastrous combination so we only add a tiny amount of sulphites on bottling,” he added.

Morgat’s wines are imported into the UK by Fields, Morris & Verdin, while Ogereau works with Les Caves de Pyrène.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Manager – Midlands and South West

Pol Roger Portfolio
Midlands and South West

UK Brand Ambassador - That Boutique-y Gin Company

That Boutique-y Gin Company
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Grocery (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Wholesale RTM (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Digital Marketing Manager

Master of Malt
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Experienced On Trade Sales Person

Borough Wine Imports
London, GB

3 x Business Development Executive

The Lakes Distillery Company Limited
Newcastle head office and nationwide, UK

Editor

Master of Malt Ltd
Tunbridge Wells(Kent)

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Experienced On-Trade Salespeople Required

Portal Wines and Spirits
London, UK

Purchasing and Sales (Wine Trader)

JF Tobias
London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 17th April 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th April 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more