Updated: Feb 17
Sauvignon Blanc is an aromatic grape varietal from France that has made quite a splash on the New Zealand and Margaret River wine scene. Its aroma is distinctly herbaceous, with hints of freshly crushed grass, while its high acidity gives it a crisp finish. Get to know this varietal from grape profile to palate to food pairings.
Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape variety that yields highly acidic dry wines. These grapes are thin-skinned and very susceptible to drought, disease, and rot which is why they are almost always harvested by hand. They grow well in regions with cool to moderate climates. Light to medium in body, these wines are typically best consumed young and fresh.
The aromas and flavours displayed by this variety depend on the ripeness of the fruit upon harvest. Harvested early in the season, you will commonly find apples, gooseberry, and wet stone notes. Ripe grapes harvested later bloom with tropical notes of passion fruit. Some producers mix grapes from different vineyard sites and different levels of ripeness to add complexity to their wines. One distinct characteristic of Sauvignon blanc is its herbaceous and floral aromas. If you get a whiff of grass, bell pepper, asparagus, or flowers, it’s most likely a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
Most winemakers produce this grape as a single varietal, aged in inert vessels to preserve its aromatic and herbaceous notes. In Bordeaux and Australia, you might find this blended with Semillon to add body and improve its aging potential. This blend is often referred to as a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc or SSB.
Loire produces a number of much loved cool-climate Sauvignon Blancs in the region. With green fruit, herbs, and wet stone notes, these bottles are beautiful reflections of the appellations from which they are grown. Within the Loire, Sauvignon Blanc is the only white grape variety to be planted in Sancerre AOC and Pouilly-Fune AOC. You might find this variety under the label Touraine AOC as well. For more complex SBs, look for Graves AOC and Pessac-Leogan AOC in Bordeaux. Typically blended with Semillon and aged in oak barrels, these wines develop honey and nut notes and can age longer in bottles.
We can’t talk about Sauvignon Blanc without mentioning New Zealand. The wine region of Marlborough is highly regarded for producing wines with more distinct green bell pepper and asparagus characteristics compared to Loire thanks to its cool to moderate climate. Sauvignon Blancs from this region display a wide range of fruit notes from lemon, apple, and peach to passion fruit. This is achieved by combining grapes from different vineyard sites and different levels of ripeness.
The Margaret River region in Western Australia has made a name for itself with Sauvignon Blanc enthusiasts. Blessed with the cooling agents of the river, single varietal SBs from this region have concentrated flavours and crisp refreshing acid. Some are blended with Semillon and matured in oak to make gorgeous SSBs.
Tyrian Clouds Sauvignon Blanc
A brilliant wine from start to finish. This pale golden wine is Marlborough's best-kept secret. Light, refreshing, and deliciously juicy - Tyrian Clouds Sauvignon Blanc is bursting with beach-side summer goodness of guava, passionfruit, and nuances of bready lees. Shop the wine
Volcanic Hills Sauvignon Blanc
Relax and Chill with this aromatic wine from New Zealand. The Marlborough-styled wine is bright, pale straw, with a fresh intense concentrate of green gooseberry and fresh passion fruit aromas, infused with grapefruit and lime skin. It has a long persistent palate weight with a clean, tangy lime acidity, refreshingly zingy and luscious with a delicate crisp finish.
McHenry Hohnen Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
Bring out the fruity aromatics of passionfruit and ruby grapefruit with every sip. Much like all great Sauvignon Blancs, McHenry Hohnen Rocky Road Semillion Sauvignon Blanc from the majestic region of Margaret River exhibits cut grass notes. Combine this with tropical aromas, fresh snow peas, pepper, and hints of roasted almond nuances and you get the perfect summertime drink. Shop the wine
Prawn & Asparagus with Dill
Scallop & Pea Risotto
Goat's Cheese Salad