unique bouquet of fresh herbs and freshly cut grass are matched
with floral, melon and peach components in the best examples. Its
higher acidity makes this grape a great foil with rich dishes and
Sauvignon Blanc needs plenty of sun to ripen
correctly. If not, its fresh cut grass aroma and flavor turn to
wet, moldy grass. May be the one grapes that excels in more diverse
areas than any other, particularly the Loire Valley, New Zealand,
South Africa, California and Austria.
by many to be California's finest white grape. It certainly is one
of its most ubiquitous. Outstanding examples come from Napa, Sonoma
and Santa Barbara counties. Many are labeled Fumé Blanc which means
white smoke in French and was coined by Robert Mondavi in the 60s
after visiting Pouilly Fumé and tasting the outstanding wines made
from Sauvignon Blanc there. Feeling that people might confuse the
name with Cabernet Sauvignon (this was the 60s, you know) he came
up Fumé Blanc and many still use it.
exclusively the province of the eastern Loire around the villages
of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. Normally hard and steely in their
youth, the wines age beautifully in 3-6 years, many longer. Striking
acidity balanced by peach nectar, gravel, a very unique flinty character
and a clean grassyness makes this a great wine with rich shellfish
called Sauvignon, it is primarily grown in the northeast and makes
a simpler styled wine.
1990 to 2000, New Zealand jumped to the number 2 position in the
minds and glasses of Sauvignon Blanc lovers around the globe. While
sharing many of the qualities of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, New
Zealand's Hawks Bay and Marlborough have carved a name for themselves
with the unique white grape and gooseberry flavors which abound
in their best offerings.
area quickly making a name for itself with this imposing grape.
With not quite the fruit of the California versions nor the acids
of France and California, South Africa's offering bridge the two
while delivering a rich, heady experience in their best offerings.
Most offer exceedingly good value as well.
few excellent examples from Chile that are normally non-oaked and
with good acidity.
area other than California seems to be able to ripen it.
warmer Bergunland is home to some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc
in both Austria and the rest of the world. Combining both ripeness
and stinging acidity, Austria's versions must be taken seriously
and offer a sublime experience from the top producers.