Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sauvignon Blanc

Unlike Riesling or Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc has rather specific characteristics: clean, crisp, refreshing, unoaked. Grown in cool climates, its wine usually display strong aromas of green fruit and vegetation such as gooseberry, elderflower, green bell pepper, asparagus. They are usually high in acidity, medium-bodied, and almost always dry. Dennis describes it as "drinking summer" because its refreshing fruitiness makes it a great summer beverage.

Here is the premium list:

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé: These villages faces each other in the Loire. These wines are usually more retrained than Sauvignon from New Zealand, but still have varietal green fruit and herbaceous notes, with a hint of smokiness.
Bordeaux: Most premium white Bordeaux is a blend of Sémillon (dominate) and Sauvignon Blanc, allowing complexity to develop with aging. It's hard to describe the flavours in a couple sentense, but it definitely show cases the best characters from the two grape varieties beautifully. The best Bordeaux comes from Cur Classé châteaux in the Pessac-Léognan and Graves AC.
New Zealand: In my opinion, New Zealand's Sauvginon Blanc is the best in terms of quality and value. The classic style is dry, high acidity, no oak, medium-bodied with distinctive, intense, pungent, clean, green varietal flavours (asparagus, pea, passion fruit). Look for wines from Marlborough. Cloudy Bay is my favourite.
Chile: I find myself buying more and more Chilean wines lately. You will find good quality Sauvignon Blanc at half the price compared to Sancerre. Casablanca would be the best region.
California: Due to the hot weather, only buy Fumé Blanc, oaked Sauvignon Blanc, from California. Usually, these wines have spicy, oaky flavours. Napa Valley is the best region.

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