This release includes a number of Sauvignon Blanc wines from both Old and New World regions. This presents an easy opportunity to expand your palate by comparing the same grape from different regions in different styles.
Don’t worry if you can’t find these exact wines. The highlights are to find a Sancerre and/or Pouilly-Fumé; a Touraine Sauvignon Blanc; a Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and then explore Sauvignon blanc from any other country or region.
What to Expect
- typically dry
- light to medium body
- high acidity
- average alcohol levels of 11.5 – 13.5 ABV
Descriptors often include ‘racy acidity’, grassy, herbal tones, grapefruit, gooseberry, mineral tones.
The terroir of the region, the ripeness of the grape and the wine making style tend to produce 2 different profiles;
- a lean, green, grassy profile with high acidity and slight undertones of grapefruit. Intensity of these characteristics vary by region.
- a slightly rounder but dry, high acid profile where grapefruit and gooseberry make the primary impressions on nose and palate with herbal, mineral or flinty undertones.
How Do I know Which is Which?
Cool climates tend to produce the green, grassy profile while warmer climates tend to produce the fruitier profile.
Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé in the Loire Valley of France are two of the most prestigious regions for Sauvignon Blanc. The Touraine region in the Loire is noted for producing reasonably priced, reliable Sauvignon Blanc in a simpler, slightly fruitier style.
New Zealand tends to set the benchmark for Sauvignon Blanc in the New World style with Marlborough being the most prestigious region. Expect wines from Marlborough to have pronounced, if not aggressive, herbaceous qualities and high acidity.
Fun aside: Anybody remember Cat Pee on Bush? That is a real thing apparently…there is a compound called 4MMP that creates this unmistakable aromatic!
Having said that, Wairu Valley in the western area of Marlborough is a bit sunnier and warmer and the wines from here tend to display more tropical fruit.
Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in South Africa, Chile, Canada, the US -notably California and Washington.
This release gives you the chance to compare various regions and styles. Choose from:
- Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2018 Loire Valley, France VINTAGES#: 189126 $33.95 A taut and focused expression from this Bue-based producer. Expect a delicate but scented expression with top-notes of white flowers and citrus. It’s light-bodied, fine and linear with a chalky spine lingering on the medium-length finish. Drinking window 2019-2022. Score – 89. (Rebecca Gibb, MW, decanter.com, Dec. 12, 2019)
- Thierry Delaunay Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Loire Valley, France VINTAGES#: 391847 $16.95 This is an excellent, pure, complex Touraine sauvignon. Many are certainly varietal but also shrill and simple. This packs in some complexity and richness without numbing sauvignon character. Expect very lifted spearmint, lime, dill and caper scents. It’s medium bodied, fresh and lively, yet broad and almost creamy, with excellent flavour depth. I don’t remember this wine ever being this good. Score – 90. (David Lawrason, winealign.com, Aug. 11, 2020)
- Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island New Zealand VINTAGES#: 141499 $22.95 Concentrated, textural sauvignon blanc with typical Awatere mineral, green capsicum and nettle characters together with subtle passionfruit flavours. A component of barrel-fermented wine has added weight and complexity. Drink 2018 to 2021. Score – 94. (bobcampbell.nz, Oct. 26, 2018)
- Vidal Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2019 VINTAGES#: 12636 Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand $19.95 This has an array of bright and zesty tropical fruit with zippy limes, green apples and mangoes in spades. Drink now [through 2021]. Score – 90. (jamessuckling.com, Oct. 16, 2019)
- Boya Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Leyda Valley Chile VINTAGES#: 389726$14.95 is a breath of fresh air for Garcés Silva in Leyda, and this sauvignon shows it with its herbal tones, citrus fruits, and delicious acidity. It’s medium bodied with good creaminess and vibrant acidity. Score – 91. (guiadescorchados.cl, 2020)
Vinologist Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape, South Africa LCBO#: 10417 $12.95 South Africa’s Vinimark has an extensive wine portfolio. Sourced from the Cape Town region, this sauvignon blanc starts with aromas of lime and gooseberry. Round on the palate, its notes of ripe pear and peach emerge and add depth. The finish is zesty and clean. Enjoy with crab cakes or mixed greens and goat cheese salad.