A Wine Lover’s View Of The Sauvignon Blanc Grape

According to many experts, the white Sauvignon Blanc grape originated in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France. This grape was well known by the Seventeenth Century. Sauvignon Blanc is a major variety in the Bordeaux region of France and in the Sancerre and Pouilly regions in the eastern Loire Valley of central France. It is an important grape in Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, where it is the signature variety, and in the United States, especially California. In a classic marketing ploy, Robert Mondavi, the famous California winemaker called this variety Fume Blanc when he very successfully popularized it in the 1960s.

Among the many tastes associated with Sauvignon Blanc are straw, herbs, gunflint, citrus fruit, gooseberries, and on occasion, pipi de chat (cat pee), which in tiny amounts some people find positive. Negative tastes that arise when Sauvignon Blanc wines are unsuccessfully processed include vegetables, such as green peppers and pea pods, and, you guessed it, pipi de chat. In France, Sauvignon Blanc grapes can be found in the world-famous Sauternes and Barsac dessert wines, in which the major grape variety is Semillion. Sauvignon Blanc brings body, color, and bouquet to this marriage said to be made in heaven. This grape also used in the dry white wine of the adjacent Graves region. Unlike most other white wines, Graves vintages may be aged for up to a dozen years. Unblended Sauvignon Blanc can produce the famous Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire wines that have a very different, acidic, fruity taste.

Largely due to its sharp acidity, Sauvignon Blanc is considered an excellent companion to foods of all kinds. For example, a classic wine and food pairing is Sancerre with the Loire Valley Goat Cheese, Crottin de Chavignol. If like me you can’t find that particular Goat Cheese, on your grocer’s shelves you choose another Goat Cheese for a lesser, but still excellent gustatory experience. Other Cheeses that successfully accompany Sauvignon Blanc wines include Sharp Cheddar, Gruyere, and Neuchatel. Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with a wide variety of Fish and Seafood. At the risk of offending purists and perhaps my doctor, I have enjoyed Sancerre with Steak and greasy Fried Potatoes. The classic companion to Sauternes is Foie Gras.

Over the years I have reviewed quite a few Sauvignon Blanc wines in a variety of price ranges. Countries explored include France, South Africa, Australia, and, of course, New Zealand. Some of these wines were Kosher.

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One Response to “A Wine Lover’s View Of The Sauvignon Blanc Grape”

  1. KAtie Says:

    Never knew some of the facts about Sauvignon Blanc such as the taste that they produce when unblended. Interesting!