About Sauvignon Blanc
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Pubdate 2022-02-11 in wine related
Sauvignon
Sancerre
Methoxypyrazines

About Sauvignon Blanc

About Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is an immensely popular grape variety that gives rise to sharp, dry, aromatic, and incredibly distinct wines produced all over the world. The scent is well-nigh sharp and penetrating, unlike, for example, its neighbor Chardonnay, and is often reminiscent of gooseberries, nettles, blackcurrant leaves rubbed between the fingers, sometimes even the tang of cat urine is mentioned. The aroma of Sauvignon Blanc, which is the factor that makes up most of its character, is relatively easy to recognize, so it is not at all surprising that the grape was one of the first to be explained in terms of its dominant scent and flavor compounds; called methoxypyrazines. A word guaranteed to give you cred if dropped at a professional wine tasting! Sauvignon Blanc also smells and tastes remarkably similar wherever it is grown, so just like with Gewürztraminer, the grape is a very good starting point for learning to recognize different varieties.
However, the typical greenery that this grape exhibits is more or less pronounced; simply put: the more tropical and sunny the location of its growth, the more obvious the manifestation of these green notes. Today, Sauvignon Blanc has its heartland planted firmly in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé of the Loire, where the climate and soil are reflected in the wine in such a way that they are immensely mineral-driven, dry and have an expression where the greenery is almost hidden in the final aroma and flavor. But if the Loire is the home country, then New Zealand, and especially Marlborough, is the kingdom of Sauvignon Blanc.
About Sauvignon Blanc
Foto Marlborough av Jeffrey B. Banke
View of vineyards in Marlborough.
No other country or district has had such a major impact on this grape's celebrity status and the development of the wines it gives rise to. In the 80's here, the grape saw a boom like no other, and this "new style" was bottled by the millions and provided the world with Sauvignon Blanc that had a different expression than the austere northern French variety. The heat and the many hours of sunshine guarantee a lush, tropical greenery in both aroma and taste, there is an opulence and generosity that attracts but that can sometimes feel almost vulgar. The quality of the wines now, as they did then, span the entire spectrum, where Cloudy Bay protrudes out a little extra; one of the New Zealand pioneers and the one who is still considered to maintain the highest quality of its Sauvignon Blancs.
Sauvignon Blanc also pairs very well with a few other grapes, Semillon being its number one wingman. In Bordeaux's dry white wines, either one of these grapes or more often a mixture of the two constitute what is bottled. A "standard recipe", both for the aforementioned dry wines but also the sweet ones from Sauternes and Barsac, consists of three quarters Semillon and a quarter Sauvignon Blanc, where the latter in these cases contributes with a prominent backbone of acidity.
In Chile and South Africa, regions and areas where Sauvignon Blanc thrives have been identified; on rocky, mineral-rich soils and where the temperature remains moderate. Australia and North America are much more limited in terms of good cultivation conditions, the excessively high average temperatures make it difficult to create quality wines that mature at an optimal rate. However, producers in California have experimented with storing on oak Sauvignon Blanc wines that have matured a little too much in the heat and created what they then call Fumé Blanc. A completely different style and thus a completely different ambience, not bearing much resemblance to the Sauvignon Blanc most often stored in steel tanks.
About Sauvignon Blanc
Roasted foie gras.
What to eat with your Sauvignon Blanc?
Well, to some extent it depends somewhat on where the wine comes from, but in general we can start by saying that the high acidity requires fat. There is a reason why foie gras is a classic and much preferred companion to wines from Sauternes; both in its roasted form, or as pâté and pasty. For a dry Sauvignon Blanc, we love seafood in most forms, but the best match is when they get to play the main role and are combined with simple accessories. Here, umami meets the high acidity of the wine, and without overly complicated recipes or heavy-handed accoutrements, even the most fine-tuned notes are given room in both wine and seafood. Or why not indulge in the simplest of pleasures; the best French fries you can get, and a generous bowl of lime aioli to dunk them in. Super delicious!
Winegrower
Bruno Ohlzon
Written by
pea&Rosenberg