Notification of extension for entries for Rendez-Vous du Chenin

Wednesday, 19 May, 2004
Allison Bonnett
Chenin producers have until May 30th to deliver their samples
The second Rendez-Vous du Chenin, from 22-25 June 2004 at the Royal Fontevraud Abbey, Loire Valley, France is rapidly approaching. We have extended the deadline for entries until 30th May, same date as the deadline for delivery of the samples. Rules and entry forms can be downloaded of the website:

Over the 3 days judging, 214 Chenin Blanc wines from six different countries were tasted, including Australia, France, Morocco, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. The wines were tasted by 50 international tasters, in panels of 40 tasters per day, where each wine was tasted twice by two different panels in a different order so as to be as objective as possible. The tasting panel, made up of sommeliers, journalists, producers, oenologists, Masters of Wine and wine experts, from France, South Africa, the United States, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom were impressed by the high standard of the wines entered.

From the diversity of styles and origins, 62 wines were selected as examples of Great Expressions of Chenin, throughout the 9 categories available following the final and detailed analysis of the sensory data obtained. These wines illustrated the wide range of expressions that Chenin is capable of producing, across a variety of styles and from terroirs and climates the world over. The results proved what we intended to show on such a scale that this noble varietal can produce exceptional wines of extremely different character, complexity and above all, that this varietal has an unparalleled aptitude to express its terroir, wherever its region of production may be.

In categories 1 – 3 : sparkling wines, three French wines from the Loire received the coveted medal of distinction.

In categories 4 – 6 : dry wines, 21 wines received this medal, with a fabulous performance from South Africa, with 10 medals from different appellations: Stellenbosch, Paarl, Coastal Region and Swartland. A wine from Mc Laren Vale in Australia as well as 10 wines from the Loire from the following appellations were medal winners; Savennières, Saumur and Anjou Blanc.

Categories 7 - 8 : provide a wide selection between Vouvray, Stellenbosch, the Pays d’Oc and a wine from Gisborne in New Zealand.

As for the noble late harvests in category no 9, they were dominated by Loire wines, collecting 31 of the 32 medals, the only outsider being from Stellenbosch, South Africa.

All these wines are of exceptional quality and are great expressions of Chenin Blanc. A publication with tasting notes of all the wines tasted and the research into the creation of the sensory landscape, or mapping, of Chenin characteristics is available in French.

What is fascinating with these results, is that the panel was 72% French, however the tasters from the entire panel recognized, and acknowledged, that there are outstanding wines of different origins and styles. It is precisely this mosaic of expressions that renders Chenin Blanc so fabulous, and enables it to overcome the boundaries of time and geography.

This was one of the aims of the Rendez-Vous du Chenin. It has been perfectly illustrated. Following the success of the first edition last year, we are expecting an increase in the number of samples entered this year, having sourced Chenin Blanc producers as far off as India and Thaïland, not forgetting the more traditional Chenin regions such as France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

For further information, please contact : Allison Bonnett
Tel : +33 (0)
Email :