A global phenomenon, offering layers of tropical fruit and citrus flavours; complemented by an attractive, flinty or mineral aspect. Mouth-watering, zesty, crisp… From classic Loire styles, or perhaps more ‘exotic’ versions from the New World – what is there not to love?
Originally from Western France, Sauvignon Blanc (often simply called Sauvignon) is a white grape variety that is now grown and established in many of the world’s wine regions, with varying degrees of success. Some of France’s finest Sauvignon vines can be found in Bordeaux’s famous appellations of Graves and Pessac-Léognan and the twin, Loire appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Today, Sauvignon Blanc is an incredibly popular grape variety, which has enjoyed new found fame in New Zealand, South Africa, Western Australia and Chile.
Many New World Sauvignon Blancs are fermented at low temperatures to preserve as much of its youthful fruit as possible. The use of oak is kept to a minimum as many New World producers prefer the use of stainless steel, or in some cases concrete casks. However some key producers are now working with specific, concentrated, low yielding blocks; which can not only withstand the judicious use of oak but actually makes the wine more complex for it. Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Semillon, Muscadelle and a little Sauvignon Gris – the latter grape being the ‘magic’ ingredient at the famed Château Smith Haut Lafitte. This popular grape variety is also a key component to the great sweet wines of Bordeaux (Sauternes & Barsac) where it plays the supporting role to the dominate grape, Semillon. Semillon is fantastically rich and luscious, however, it needs the acidity of Sauvignon Blanc to balance the wine. The flavour profile is varied; from asparagus, gooseberry, nettles, pea shoots, mint and passionfruit, to gunflint and minerals.
Can Sauvignon Blanc age? In short, most are produced for early consumption, and bottle age will simply do little for the wine. However, there are key producers who specially create a dry Sauvignon Blanc, which can last many decades, and in some cases, this time is necessary for the wine to emerge from its shell. We have amassed a stunning and varied collection of Sauvignon Blancs which uncover the diversity of this superb grape variety.