Sensory analysis of the 2016 Standard Bank Chenin blanc Top 10 Challenge wines

Mihaela Mihnae and Wessel du Toit - 31 Jan 2018


  • Chenin blanc is the most planted grape variety in South Africa.
  • Chenin blanc’s quality and style depend on the vineyards and the winemaker’s vinification choices; producing a wide range of aroma and taste profiles.
  • There is currently a big drive by various industry role players, researchers, as well as producers and wineries, to improve the quality and perception of South African Chenin blanc wines.
  • The Standard Bank Chenin blanc Top 10 Challenge is an annual competition evaluating the quality of bottled Chenin blanc wines.
  • Knowing which are the characteristics that experts consider the best could help winemakers tailor their wines for specific consumers.
  • The aim of this work was to describe the sensorial composition of the Top 10 wines, as well as the five
    lowest scoring wines, from the Standard Bank Chenin blanc Top 10 Challenge of 2016.
  • Winemakers were used to describe these wines.


  • 15 wines: 10 highest scored (CB1-CB10) and lowest scored (CB11-CB15)
  • 20 wine experts (Chenin blanc winemakers)
  • Describe the wines: appearance, nose and palate


Word clouds constructed using the results obtained from the tasting sheets.
Words displayed in a larger font indicate those terms used more frequently by the wine experts.

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