The Rudera Robusto Chenin Blanc 2002, winner of the Chenin Blanc Challenge as convened by Wine magazine in 2005, famously had a residual sugar of 15.7g/l. It’s a decade on and a wine of similarly high RS would now not be eligible for entry into what the Chenin Blanc Challenge has morphed into, namely the Standard Blanc Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge as this new competition stipulates a maximum RS of 12g/l, the official limit for wines to classify as “semi-dry”.
The Robusto 2002 as made by Teddy Hall, four-time winner of the old Chenin Challenge, is still in pretty decent nick. Apricot, honey, some nuttiness, a touch of mushroom. The palate is sweet and rich (as you might expect) but there’s a nice line of acidity and some pleasing savoury character on the back palate. Plenty of character and still very much alive if made in a style which is now out of fashion.