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Château de Fesles “La Chapelle” Chenin Sec 2011

Leafy, refreshing and a glorious balance of acidity over flavour, give “La Chapelle” a couple of years in the cellar and it has the potential to be great.

This pale gold, attractively youthful 2011 limited edition from Château de Fesles is a yummy, full flavoured Chenin Blanc (buy from Waitrose for £13.99 – Jan 2015). On the nose you get plenty of allure from fruity aromas of lemon and pungeant savoury notes. There’s also an aroma of wet leaves, which suggests a bit of complexity – perhaps a little under-developed – and lots of earthyness.

The best thing about this 100% Chenin white is its punch of acidity. Although still a little full and overpowering, it is balanced beautifully with initial vegetal flavours of cabbage. This suggests it’ll match well with light meals – try chicken or crab cakes.

Its medium-full body and delicate texture means it can be easily enjoyed no matter what the weather, just make sure it’s served nicely chilled. High alcohol means the wine also has plenty of lovely length, leaving your mouth-watering and giving you longer to enjoy the flavours.

However I can’t help but think it needs a little more maturity. This might bring out more of the oaky flavours (the wine was aged 12 months in oak) and also give it a creaminess that might make this wine go from good to luxurious. Try cellaring “La Chapelle” for a few years before you open.


Serve with…

…Leafy salads or white meat, particularly chicken. Try with a chicken caesar salad that has a generous glug of salad dressing. Particularly enjoyable alongside crab-cakes. Also works well as an aperitif. Always serve chilled.

BFW Rating


Malvira Roero Arneis is smooth, perfect for parties and packed with fruit – it’s just pricey.


Chenin Blanc

Loire, France.



£££ (Mid-High)

Click here to see where this wine ranks.

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