Chancellor grape variety is a hybrid grape, having the genes of multiple grapes, despite being an offspring of two different grape variants.
Chancellor grape is considered amongst one of the best hybrid varieties of grape due to the aroma and the flavour it adds, helping wine makers produce fruit driven red wines which are smooth in structure and full of taste.
This wine can further be enhanced by engaging it in barrel ageing, which further adds a plethora of flavours to the wine.
The Chancellor is often blended with Vitis Vinifera variety like Merlot.
History of Chancellor Grape
Chancellor grape variety was created by the prolific grape breeder by the name Albert Siebel in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Siebel, being the French viticulturist, often experimented with varieties of grapes and called them with different names until and unless they were commercially introduced.
The Chancellor was created by him by crossing the Siebel 880 grape with Siebel 5163 in his native France in the year 1860.
This newly formed cross was called as Siebel 7053 grape and it retained its name until it went to the United States where it got its new name of ‘Chancellor’ thanks to the Finger Lakes wine growers association in the year 1970.
Now this grape is exclusively grown in its adopted home in New York.
Presently, due to the French AOC law which prohibits the use of all the hybrid grape varieties apart from one (Baco Blanc) this grape is no longer cultivated commercially in France.
Regions producing Chancellor Grape
Chancellor was created in the year 1860 and was one of the most widely cultivated hybrid grapes of that time.
Since this grape was never produced commercially, it retained the name Siebel 7053, though it continued to be called by different names in different regions.
This grape got introduced to the United States in 1940 and Canada in the year 1946 and since then, they have been one of the biggest cultivators of this grape.
However, due to the ban placed by the French government on this grape, the production of this grape got completely wiped out from France.
This grape is most suited to cooler climes and hence most plantations of Chancellor are in New York and Michigan.
However, this grape is also cultivated in some of the less viticultarally inclined states of Nebraska and Illinois.
Characteristics of Chancellor Grape Variety
Chancellor is a black coloured grape having a jet black and a firm skin, slightly oval or round berries with not so juicy flesh.
It grows in cylindrical medium sized clusters which are fairly compact and winged.
When it comes to growth, this grape is moderately vigorous, having a semi procumbent growth habit. It often requires cluster thinning as it tends to develop 3 to 4 clusters per shoot.
Early bud break makes this grape susceptible to late frosts, but is capable of producing secondary buds after crop off.
When it comes to infections, this grape is highly vulnerable to Phomopsis cane,crown gall, downy mildew, leaf spots, powdery mildew, etc. It is also slightly vulnerable to Botrytis bunch rot and black rot.
When it comes to the weather, it is highly productive in cold weather, but does not perform well in humid and hot areas with low ventilation.
Flavours and Aroma of Chancellor Wines
Chancellor wine is considered amongst the best French American wine variants and it produces a medium bodied red wine which is capable of ageing well.
These grapes give a great colour to the wine almost like an inky, opaque purple, black color with a tinge of crimson rim.
On the nose, this wine gives fairly intense aromas of dried blueberries, raisins, cedar, plum and dried figs.
On the palate, this wine gives a medium sweet and velvety dry flavour of blueberry, blackberry jam, raisin, figs and prunes.
It has a medium acidity level and high alcohol content.
The Tempranillo wines are usually classified either as full-bodied or medium-bodied wines with red fruit characteristics.
Tempranillo appears more translucent in a glass due to its thin skins and large grape size. Due to the aging style in a traditional oak, Tempranillo wines give a ruddy orange hue. As far as texture is concerned, this wine has a not so thick and a non-oily texture
Editor-in-Chief and Wine Writer
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂
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