JP Chenet has come from nowhere 20 years ago, to being the top French wine brand in the UK. In the last 15 years, France has lost its dominance of the wine market, to Australia, and is now third in place, with 14% share after Australia and USA. Historically France has dominated the UK market, with its traditional wines, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chablis and Cotes du Rhone, but with changing times and the arrival of simply labelled Australian wines, French wines started to lose their appeal.
About J P Chenet
Enter JP Chenet, with its unique, slanted, mis-shapen, but never missed bottle shape, and simple labelling, by grape variety, taking a modern edge on the traditional French approach of labelling wines by region, not grape variety. It’s now the top selling French wine brand all over the world, with over 64 million bottle sales, and the 15th biggest brand in the UK (and the only French brand in the top 30!).
JP Chenet was first created in 1984, and is a privately owned company, based in Alsace in France. In a direct contrast to most traditional French wine companies, the dumpy, oddly- shaped, but immediately recognisable bottle shape of JP Chenet was introduced in 1991, and the brand has never looked back.
At a time when the focus was all about Australia and other New World countries, who were making wine choices easy, JP Chenet, set about launching the French counter-offensive, and set up to create French wines that were labelled by grape variety, not region, to make consumer choice simpler.
JP Chenet decided that the south and south west of France were the best areas for sourcing and making their wines, and set up good business relationships with a number of cooperative growers in the Languedoc region of the south of France, and also Cotes de Gascogne in the South West.
Now the brand covers a wide range of grape varieties, but always from these two regions, with the focus on enjoyable, fruity, easy-drinking styles of wine.
What Styles Do J P Chenet Produce?
JP Chenet make fresh, flavoursome, easy-drinking wines from the south of France, all packaged in their trademark, wonkily-shaped bottle – 2 whites, 2 rose, 2 red.
JP Chenet Colombard Sauvignon – Made from the traditional grapes from the Gascony wine region of France, the blend is dominated by the fresh, lively and fruity Colombard grape, with 20% of zesty, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc added – refreshing and crisp.
JP Chenet Colombard Chardonnay – A blend of Gascony’s crispily fruity Colombard, with the warm, ripe Chardonnay fruit of the Languedoc, this is smooth, dry, full-flavoured white, with white peach and citrussy flavours, and a refreshingly lively tang on the finish.
JP Chenet Grenache Cinsault – This wine is all about soft, dry, juicy berry flavours. Quite light in colour, a pale salmon pink, it’s from the south of France, and is a lively, very fruity dry Rose, full of strawberry and rosehip flavours.
JP Chenet Merlot Rose – 100% Merlot from Vin de Pays d’Oc, this is a slightly fuller style of Rose, still dry, but with a more intense pink colour and scents of freshly crushed raspberries, and ripe, luscious flavours of summer fruits, and vanilla – easy drinking and refreshing.
JP Chenet Merlot – 100% Merlot from Vin de Pays d’Oc, in southern France, this is a really fruity, velvety treat. It’s full flavoured and rich, yet soft, and silky, with gentle tannins and lots of ripe, blackberry and ripe plum fruit.
JP Chenet Cabernet Syrah – A blend from southern France, this wine encompasses 2 of the region’s best know grape varieties. It’s rich, smooth, yet soft, with full body, and lots of blackcurrant flavours, with a warm, spicy edge.
Matching J P Chenet With Food
Colombard Sauvignon – its fresh, zesty style make it a good match for zingy salads, mussels, seafood and steamed, Asian-style fish.
Colombard Chardonnay – perfect with salmon, frittatas, omelettes, and pan fried chicken, as well as creamy pasta dishes.
Grenache Cinsault – perfect summer drinking, chilled with a tuna salad, or a platter of prawns.
Merlot Rose – again, lovely as a dry Rose, chilled on its own, but with its character, also great with spicy chicken salads, such as chicken Caesar, or coronation, baked gammon and light indian curries.
Merlot – this ripe, lively red is great with everyday suppers and lunches, such as burgers, barbecued ribs, hotpots and cheesy lasagne.
Cabernet Syrah – a great, full on red for chargrilled steak, spicy ribs, lamb chops, meatballs, and hearty stews.