Wine Grape Cheat Sheets: Sauvignon Blanc
August 27, 2012 1 Comment
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the world’s major white wine grape varieties, celebrated for its distinctive aromas and bracing acidity. Its crisp acidic backbone makes it one of the most food-friendly of all table wines. Sauvignon Blanc is a highly aromatic white wine, and it’s distinctive aromas can vary greatly depending on terroir and winemaking. While generally thought of as a single-varietal or blended dry white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is also used to craft luscious dessert wines.
- Sauvignon Blanc can be made in a variety of styles, based primarily on fermentation techniques and whether or not the wine is blended or oak aged.
- Botrytis-affected and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc can be used to produce very sweet, complex dessert wines.
- Lighter Style, Dry Sauvignon Blancs are generally stainless steel fermented and aged only briefly (if at all) in stainless steel.
- The typical attributes of this lighter style wine are: Light Body, Crisp, Delicate, Highly Acidic, Steely, Precise, and Fruity.
- The richer style, sometimes called Fumé Blanc in the New World, is often oak-fermented, sur lie aged, and sometimes oak barrel aged.
- The attributes of this richer style include: Medium Body, Rich, Complex, Smoother, Oak-derived Complexity.
- Sauvingon Blanc is often blended with Semillon in order to add complexity and tone down it’s usual razor-sharp acidity. This style was pioneered in the White Wines of Bordeaux.
Typical Aromas of a Sauvignon Blanc-Based Wine:
Fruity: Green Apple, Apricot, Lime, Lemon, Green Plum, Melon, Pear, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Gooseberry, Kiwi, Papaya
Herbal/Vegetative: Cut Green Grass, Green Bell Pepper, Asparagus, Fennel, Herbs, Lemon Grass, Hay, Straw, Wildflowers
Mineral: Wet Sand, Wet Stone, Riverbank, Ozone, Fresh Rain
Chemical: Ammonia, Sometimes referred to as “PiPi du Chat”
Dessert Wine Styles of Sauvignon Blanc can disply aromas of honey, dried apricot, peaches, nutmeg and even curry…botrytis-affected wines will have that inimitable “earthy edge”!
Where The Best Sauvignon Blanc is Grown:
- The Bordeaux Region of France, notably Graves and Entre-deux-Mers.
- The Loire Valley Region of France, notably Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre.
- California’s Napa and Sonoma Regions.
- New Zealand, notably the Marlborough Region.
- South Africa, particularly Stellenbosch.
- The cooler regions of Chile and Argentina
- Australia, notably The Adelaide Hills Region.
- Raw Shellfish
- Seafood of all kinds
- Acidic Sauces
- Salads, Vinaigrettes
- Vegetarian Dishes
- Fennel, Bell Pepper, Eggplant, Zucchini
- Herbs, Mushrooms, Garlic
- Dijon Mustard
- Capers, Green Olives
- Feta Cheese, Goat Cheese
The Bubbly Professor is “Miss Jane” Nickles of Austin, Texas…