Sauvignon Blanc Wine
Sauvignon Blanc wine is produced in many regions although it originated in France. The grape variety is a white grape which has been grown for centuries in both Bordeaux and many parts of the Loire Valley. Today it is planted in many regions around the world and produces a slew of wines from California to Italy.
In California, many producers make both a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc wine. They can be seen as a good contrast. Although they both produce rich, characterful wines, their specific character can be quite different. Compared to the Chardonnay, the Sauvignon is often more herbal or vegetal, with piney or grassy aromas. The fruit flavors are also different and they often have a crisp acidity to them. Try one alongside a Chardonnay based wine and you may be surprised at the distinct differences.
Where Is Sauvignon Blanc Wine Made?
Originally, Sauvignon Blanc has been one of the important white grapes of Bordeaux
and the Loire Valley in France for centuries. In Bordeaux it is an important component in the blend of both dry and sweet white Bordeaux. In the Loire Valley, many villages produce wine exclusively from Sauvignon Blanc, most famously Sancerre
and Pouilly Fumé
. Several other regions in the Loire (Tourraine, Quincy, Cheverny, Reuilly, etc.) also make Sauvignon Blanc based wines.
Outside of France, many other regions grow this grape variety. California produces a great deal of it. Parts of Italy, particularly in the north, grow it well. More recently, some southernly regions have done good things with the grape, particularly New Zealand and South Africa, where the climate seems to suit the grape well.
What Styles of Wine Does Sauvignon Blanc Produce and What Do They Taste Like?
Generally, Sauvignon Blanc wine is crisp and dry. It can have a floral component and a grassy, almost vegetal nuance to it. If too pronounced, this can be off-putting, but usually just adds to the unique complexity of the wines. The wines can also have a rich mineral component as well, depending on the region. This can often be described as a flinty or even gunflint type of smokey minerality. The fruit aromas and flavors are also quite unique. The fruit smell of Sauvignon Blanc is often described as resembling gooseberry. Most people in the US are not familiar with gooseberry but if you can find some to sample you'll always be able to recognize Sauvignon Blanc after that!
Most wines produced from Sauvignon Blanc are made in a dry white wine style, including most of the wines of the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, California, New Zealand and South Africa. However, in Bordeaux there are famous sweet white wines also produced which often include Sauvignon Blanc in the blend, along with others such as Semillon. The most famous of these are Sauternes.
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