California

Chenin Blanc

Study Guides > Varieties > Chenin Blanc

Signature Styles & Characteristics

Signature Styles & Characteristics

Although any grape can be interpreted in innovative and at times, outlier styles, the following chart/graphic represents the preponderance of what you will find California’s winemakers producing.

  • Dryness/Residual Sugar

    Still: 55 percent on a scale from Dry to Sweet of Dryness/Residual Sugar. Sparkling: 30 percent on the same scale.

  • Acid (potential)

    Still: 95 percent on a scale from Low to High of Acid (potential). Sparkling: 95 percent on the same scale.

  • Alcohol (potential)

    Still: 55 percent on a scale from Low to High of Alcohol (potential). Sparkling: 55 percent on the same scale.

  • Body (weight on palate)

    Still: 50 percent on a scale from Light to High of Body (weight on palate). Sparkling: 50 percent on the same scale.

  • Texture (Still)

    Still: 100 percent on a scale from Tart and lean to round and smooth to of Texture (Still).

  • Texture (Dessert)

    Still: 100 percent on a scale from Round, smooth and creamy to of Texture (Dessert).

  • Texture (Sparkling)

    Sparkling: 100 percent on the same scale.

Not Applicable. Wines, however, can be slightly phenolic due to intentional skin contact.

Aromas/Flavors

Influenced by climate, terroir, clonal selection, and winemaking.

  • Np Fruit 3293668 000000

    Fruit

    Guava, melon (green/orange), quince, apple (red/yellow/green), pear (yellow/brown), passion fruit, lime, peach, persimmon, mandarin orange, grapefruit, kumquat, citrus curd
  • Floral

    Vegetable

    Grass/hay, peppermint, echinacea, ginger, sunflower seeds
  • Floral

    Floral

    Chamomile, citrus blossom, honeysuckle, lavender, wildflower, saffron, jasmine
  • Icon Earth

    Earth

    Chalk, mineral, stone
  • Icon Wood

    Wood

    Oak (sweet styles primarily). Vanilla, nutmeg, graham cracker, meringue, marzipan, brioche
  • Icon Other

    Other

    Juicy fruit gum, custard, honey

Ageability

2-10 years, pedigree-dependent; the best can live even longer; the finest sweet dessert styles can last for decades