With summer upon us, although you would be hard pressed to notice these last few days, I thought it would be a good idea to put a few recommendations together on one of the most popular varieties of white wine.
Sauvignon Blanc has had a remarkable period of growth here in the UK and is now the most popular white wine varietal across the country. With its upfront tropical fruit flavours and crisp fresh acidity, it has really hit the spot for the flavours we crave.
Sauvignon Blanc can trace its roots back to France where some of the best Sauvignon Blanc available can be found. In the Loire Valley you can find world renowned Sauvignon from towns such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume and in recent years the quality from the South of France has really improved and now offers incredible value. Forward thinking winemakers such as Jacques Frelin are combining the traditional methods of French winemaking with a more modern style to produce some wonderfully balanced wines.
This New World style certainly seems to be the driving force behind the rise in popularity and there is no better exponent of this than New Zealand. What you get here is an abundance of tropical fruit and flavours of lychee and gooseberries and this is balanced out by the acidity that gives it the clean crisp finish we have all grown to love. I have tasted a few Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand where the upfront fruit has been a touch too much and lacks balance but the Taumata Sauvignon Blanc certainly hits the spot. All the typical flavours you would expect to find but without becoming over-bearing, the only problem with this wine is the bottle seems to empty rather quicker than you realise!
Whilst perfectly enjoyable drunk on its own it is also a great wine to match with food. It is one of the few wines that works really well with Sushi and goes great with fish, risotto or roast chicken. It can also work extremely well with cheese as well, try it with goat’s cheese, Gouda or a good slab of cheddar cheese. I find wine and cheese is always the best way to finish any meal.
A Few Fun Facts
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, the equally popular red wine varietal. In the 17th Century it was paired with Cabernet Franc and together they produced this classical red variety.
It gets its name from the French word for wild ‘sauvage’ as it was originally found growing wildly in France. Although Loire is where it is best known, it was believed to originally be from another famous wine producing region in Bordeaux.
It is one of the main grapes used in Bordeaux Blanc and is also the only white wine grape used in Northern Loire where the towns of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume are.
Over one third of all wine produced in New Zealand is from the Sauvignon Blanc grape.
What to Choose?
To help you decide where to get started in exploring the world of Sauvignon I have listed a couple of my personal favourites which showcase the different style and flavour profiles from this flavoursome varietal.
Taumata, New Zealand
La Marouette, France