Our Top 5 Sauvignon Blancs
Originally from France, Sauvignon Blanc is now a truly international grape variety. Famous in the Loire (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé), Bordeaux (Entre-Deux-Mers, dessert wines in blend), it has moved around the world to Chile, South Africa, USA, and notably New Zealand.
Designed to be drunk young, it is an aromatic, crisp, dry white wine, with distinctive aromas of green pepper, nettles, grass, it is a good pairing with goats cheese. The warmer climates of New World Sauvignons can show gooseberry and riper, more exotic fruits.
Below we have highlighted a few of our favourite Sauvignon's from around the globe.
Domaine Sylvain Bailly Sancerre Blanc, Loire Valley, France £19.20
Domaine Sylvain Bailly's vineyard of Sancerre spread over the communes of Bué, Sancerre, Crézancy and Montigny rests on a geological base of the secondary era, of Jurassic formation.
Their white Sancerre from calcareous soils (hard and very stony) provide finesse, fruit and freshness to the wines. The white soils (Kimmeridgian marls), more or less clayey, give structure and matter.
"A brilliant hue, the typical pale yellow of Sauvignon. A great complexity, with aromas of white flowers, citrus and menthol. An elegant attack with great freshness, combines with a delicate floral and mineral character."
Luke Gavin, Our Premier Crew Club Manager
Domaine de Chevilly Quincy Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, France £15.90
As testimony to the high quality of wines from Quincy, it was the second appellation created in France, after Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhône. Quincy produces exceptionally racy, dry wine exclusively from Sauvignon Blanc. Despite being the first French white wine to be given AOC status, Quincy has persistently been overshadowed (and dwarfed) by Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre, where the combined area under vine is over 15 times greater than Quincy's. The Oxford Companion to Wine describes Quincy Sauvignons as 'a little more rustic, less delicate' than Sancerre, and one could possibly point to the sand and gravel soils – as opposed to the limestone, clay and silex (flint) upon which Sancerre Sauvignons grow. Enjoy this wonderfully crisp and fresh Sauvignon Blanc as an aperitif, with grilled fish, seafood, exotic cuisine and goat’s cheese.
Storm Wines Wild Air Sauvignon Blanc, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa £20.20
One of the most exciting boutique South African producers we have come across in a while is Hannes Storm from the aptly named Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) Valley. Wild Air is a brilliant, zippy, concentrated Sauvignon with good textural depth to match its freshness – close your eyes and you could be drinking a ripe vintage Sancerre. Made from older vines, it's a wine made as naturally as possible with spontaneous yeasts and was largely fermented in large old oak barrels which lends a beautiful rounded texture to compliment the vibrant citrus and tropical Sauvignon Blanc notes.
"Wild Air is a brilliant, zippy, concentrated Sauvignon with good textural depth to match its freshness – close your eyes and you could be drinking a ripe vintage Sancerre." Storm Wines
Château Graville-Lacoste Graves Blanc, Bordeaux, France £15.45
Château Graville Lacoste is owned by the charming and understated Hervé Durbordieu. The vineyards were planted by his father in 1951 and the soils are clay and limestone, with prominent large stones throughout. It is no surprise that Graville Lacoste is the only white wine served at La Cabane d’Hortense, Cap Ferret; a favourite summer eating spot of the Bordelais.
The blend is 60% Semillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Muscadelle. Fermentation and ageing is all in stainless steel to retain freshness. This is classic, mineral Graves with real depth and vitality.
Alpha Domus The Pilot Sauvignon Blanc, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand £16.80
Emigrating from Holland in the early 1960s the Ham family established themselves as nurserymen before going on to create Alpha Domus in 1990. They produced their first vintage in 1996 and joined our portfolio shortly after. The family's commitment is to produce premium quality wines that are true to varietal character and are a reflection of their unique terroir. All the wines are single vineyard estate grown and are made at the on-site winery.
"A fresh lively Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of pear, lime, gooseberry and riper tropical fruits. On the palate, a crisp palate with lemongrass, passionfruit, fennel and above all lime. The palate shows typical Hawke's Bay richness and softness, with a ripe texutre" Alpha Domus
Published on: April 26, 2019