Black Estate Home North Canterbury Chenin Blanc 2017 $45 5stars

The Naish family planted chenin blanc on their ‘Home’ vineyard back in 2011, and the vines thrive under the baking Waipara sun and those wild Nor’Easter winds. This is the fourth vintage made by their winemaker, Nicholas Brown, an obsessive fan of wines from the Mid-Loire Valley in France (where chenin and cabernet franc are […]

The Lazy Dog Queensberry Central Otago Sweet On Chenin 2018

The Lazy Dog Queensberry Central Otago Sweet On Chenin 2018 A blend of late-picked Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer by Jeff Sinnott, at 70g/l residual sugar it’s definitely sweet, but it’s tangy fresh and balanced.  I like the toffee apple and honey notes that combine with musky spices, lychee and grilled peach flavours on the finish.  […]

The Lazy Dog Queensberry Central Otago Chenin Blanc 2017

The Lazy Dog Queensberry Central Otago Chenin Blanc 2017 $23 Crafted by winemaker Jeff Sinnott from Diana and Dean Harker from chenin blanc vines they’ve been growing since 2008.  This is a dry, elegant style, packed to the eyeballs with lime and green apple, a hint (just a skerrick) of honeysuckle and loads and loads […]

Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Franschhoek Viognier Chenin Blanc Grenache Blanc 2015 $22 (4 stars)

This is one of my go to wines of the moment and this blend of 48% viognier 41% Chenin Blanc and 11% grenache blanc should be on your shopping list too.  Layers of white peach, apple, hints of citrus oil and jasmine and a mash-up of minerality on the finish make it a complex, juicy, […]

Badenhorst Secateurs Swartland Chenin Blanc 2017 $25.99

Hand harvested from nuggety old bushvines growing on grantite slopes, this Swartland chenin blanc is ultra-elegant and saturates the nose and palate with beautiful baked apple and spice, caramelised, creaminess, rich, generous and apple-pie like.  The acidity is fresh and frisky and its seriously lovely to drink.  South African chenin blanc is now a firm […]

Astrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Marlborough Chenin Blanc 2015 $25 (4.5 stars)

Simon Waghorn and his wife Jane Forrest-Waghorn set up Astrolabe in Marlborough back in 1996 after years of making wine in Australia and Gisborne. I love that they’ve taken a leap and planted chenin blanc because it produces an apple and honeysuckle-scented dry white wine that’s rarely seen in NZ. Zesty, fresh and feisty, it’s […]

Millton Te Arai Gisborne Chenin Blanc $29 (4 stars)

Glossy and golden in the glass, this organic, biodynamically produced chenin blanc has late summer afternoons written all over it.  With its perfume of apple leather, nana’s talc and musky magic, it’s aromatically intriguing, yet on the palate it delivers a whoomph (technical term there) of racy acidity, crunchy apple, pear and citrus pith on […]

Astrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2013 375ml ($35) (4 stars)

Chenin blanc is a rare thing here in New Zealand in its normal form, so to come across a dessert version sent me straight to my happy place. Baked apples filled with buttery, boozy sultanas, spice and mixed peel all wash across the palate alongside a lick of manuka honey and sweet lime. Delish.

De Morgenzon DMZ Chenin Blanc 2015 $25 ★★★★½

This is the first time I’ve ever tried South African Chenin and if this is the standard, I’m a total convert.  Grown in the upper reaches of the Stellenboschkloof Valley in the Stellenbosch region, the vines which – no joke- they play baroque music to 24/7, have produced a creamy apple, crème caramel and nashi-scented […]

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