Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

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Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

Postby Sheila Duncan » Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:51 pm

Hi, I'm new here. Joined because I have a dilemma. A friend from France is coming to visit, and I asked her what she'd like to drink while here. She graciously said that she does drink American wines, and mentioned a dry Chenin Blanc that she enjoyed. I've been fussing around online and found some info on a Dry Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc. No go--none in my neighborhood (Atlanta, y'all). So, anybody got any dry American whites made from French grapes that they'd like to recommend? I say French grapestock because I'd like to be courteous, not because she said anything about that. And before you ask, I did email Dry Creek and called their distributor, who was very nice and pointed out that I can drive for 45 minutes to get a bottle. That's not happenin', folks. Many thanks, guys. Sheila
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Re: Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:56 pm

Welcome to the forum Sheila. While I can't give you help with the wine I'm sure plenty of people will pipe in. Do you have a reputable wine store in the area? I would ask there.
Cheers!
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Re: Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

Postby Hoke » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:04 pm

You could look for Vinum Cellars CNW (Chard? No Way!).

It's a dry Chenin Blanc from the same area that Dry Creek Vineyards sources their fruit. And it's not expensive. Ask for that and see what happens.
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Re: Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

Postby Florida Jim » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:10 pm

Lots of US producers make a chenin, eg., Beringer, Bogle, Hogue Cellars, etc. But I would actually recommend the one from Chappellet; not on a par with good Savennieres, but certainly better than most domestic versions.
It is distributed in the Atlanta area.
Best, Jim
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Re: Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

Postby Sheila Duncan » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:24 pm

Wow, thanks for the quick responses, y'all. I've made a few notes and will hit the local wine stores tomorrow. There are two or three that I think have decent stock. I did open a bottle of Beringer last night, Jim, and I think it's a bit sweet--in fact I couldn't finish the glass, and am using the rest of the bottle to make a dessert tonight. Many thanks, Sheila
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Re: Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

Postby James Dietz » Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:12 pm

Agree on the Chappellet... very nice Chenin Blanc.. Beverages and More usually carries it if there is one near you.. and the price is good.. $13ish...
Cheers, Jim
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Re: Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

Postby Jenise » Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:46 pm

Sheila,

In addition to the Dry Creek, two California chenins I'm familiar with that I'd recommend are the Chappellet and Vinum. Vastly different styles, both good. I'd also recommend several that are in the marketplace from South Africa, a country with a strong soft spot for chenin--Ken Forrester's Petite Chenin, is one I've had and liked.

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Re: Newbie needs help with dry Chenin Blanc

Postby wnissen » Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:50 pm

Welcome to the board!

As you've found, the distribution of all but the biggest brands is so hit-or-miss that making any specific recommendation will be difficult. However, I would add Weinstock's "Contour," a very slightly sweet (far drier than the Beringer you had) wine. However, any reputable wine shop would be able to tell you if any of the chenin blancs they have are dry. If you're on your own, one clue might be the alcohol percentage listed on the bottle. If it's less than 12.5%, the wine is almost certainly semi-sweet to sweet. The Beringer, for example. is 12.5% alcohol and still pretty sweet. My other suggestion would be to look for chenin blancs that don't carry the unspecific "California" appellation, but rather someplace specific like "Dry Creek" or "Napa Valley."

Good luck, and if you don't find anything, you might consider a sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, or pinot blanc from someplace cool like Mendocino County. They are likely to be dry, and somewhat similar in style.

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Love this forum

Postby Sheila Duncan » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:38 pm

You guys have been so very helpful, and so rapidly. I now have a nice list of possibles, as well as questions to ask of each store's wine guru. You have given me the sort of information I was hoping for: specific wines you've had, and alternative wines to try. Couldn't ask for more. This place rocks!
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Re: Love this forum

Postby ClarkDGigHbr » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:03 am

If you can purchase outside the USA border, try looking for some nice South African Chenin Blanc. Two I've tried in the past few months are very good quality and dry:
    Fairvalley: Pale color, with full aroma; crisp taste of fruit and minerals on the palate. Very good value at $8.
    Mulderbosch: Bright fruit with wonderful complexity and a flinty finish. A lovely wine at $15.

-- Clark
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