A Guide to Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is widely cultivated in wine regions all over the world. The flavor profile can range from grassy, to intensely tropical, to wet stone minerality or a flinty smokiness. Very few white wines have such range! Then you’ve got to figure in how it was aged: oak, stainless or even concrete. Climate, terroir and regional winemaker trends can help identify the style you like. Here is a very general guide to Sauvignon Blancs from around the world to help you locate your specific style.
- Loire – Light-bodied with bright acidity. Primary flavors of lime, green grass, chalky minerality and honeydew melon.
- Bordeaux – Light-medium bodied depending on the aging process. Oak is not uncommon in Sauvignon Blancs from this area. Primary flavors of Lemon curd, lemongrass and honeyed grapefruit.
- South West France (Languedoc-Roussillon) – Light-medium bodied with moderate acidity. Primary flavors of lemons, grapefruit and passion fruit.
- Light-medium bodied with bright acidity. Passion fruit, green pepper, lemongrass and grassy.
- Light-medium bodied with high acidity. Grassy, lime, green banana, pineapple and salinity.
- Light-medium bodied with lively acidity. Green herbs, jasmine, honeysuckle, guava and Meyer lemon.
- California – Medium-bodied with medium-high acidity. White peach, honeydew melon and pineapple.
- Washington – Light bodied with high acidity. Lime, grapefruit and wet stone minerality
- Light-medium bodied with bright acidity. Sweet gooseberry, white peach pear and orange blossom
Needless to say, the spectrum is large and styles can vary even within the same region. Half the fun of wine is exploring so try as much as you can (responsibly).
This week one of our favorite wineries in Italy, Castelfeder just won the 2023 Concours Mondial du Sauvignon. This huge Sauvignon Blanc competition is held annually and featured over 1,200 submissions from all over the world. We’re so proud of them here at Vinera Wine Society and we couldn’t agree more with the decision.
2021 Sauvignon Blanc ‘Raif’, Castelfeder
The winery is located in the very north of Italy where lines start to blur between Germanic and Italian cultures. The vineyard for this wine sits at around 2000ft above sea level, an ideal climate for Sauvignon Blanc, encouraging optimal development of the aromatics. This wine spent six months on the yeast lees adding body and character. Bright fruit characteristics are preserved by fermenting in stainless steel. Medium-bodied, with bright acidity and fairly pronounced intensity this wine displays aromas of passion fruit, guava and capsicum. On the palate notes of mango, passionfruit, honeydew melon and green bell pepper finish with a creamy minerality.
Available for purchase in the US through Vinera Wine Society.