Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular wines in the world and we can find endless interpretations of this noble grape, which is believed to have been born in the Loire, although some theories want it as a native of Bordeaux.
As always, everything depends on terroir and wine making techniques, although some organoleptic characteristics are so specific that allow you to instantly recognize a good Sauvignon Blanc.
What does not change is the undeniable character of Sauvignon Blanc, its pungent aromatic charm, which is matched by an appetizing minerality, perfect to accompany a multitude of dishes, especially vegetarian, but it’s good with a salmon fillet with asparagus and mushrooms too.
Sauvignon Blanc’s organoleptic characteristics
The distinctive organoleptic characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc are given by pyrazines that develop in the clusters and to whom we owe the characteristic aromas of green olive, pepper, fennel, capers, celery and thyme.
If the grapes were harvested at the right time we will find maturity and harmony in these green scents, they will be well fused into a compact and varied bouquet, otherwise the wine could will too pungent, ruined by unpleasant and aggressive vegetal notes.
Sauvignon Blanc’s bouquet
Green perfumes alongside memories of lily of the valley and bergamot and a symphony of fruits like lime, tangerine, green apple, banana, melon, guava and grapefruit in sequence. If grown in cold climates are the tropical scents to emerge: passion fruit, papaya and lychee, like case of New Zealand wines.
On the palate
Good minerality, freshness and aromatic depth. The young wines that are not wood aged are characterized by green notes of aromatic herbs (sage, thyme, marjoram), citrus, agile body and delicious almond hints. Those aged in wood develop roundness and a certain fattiness, the scents are mature and veer towards caramelized citrus peel, dried fruit, baked apple and of course figs.
Sauvignon Blanc’s areas of production
The areas where it finds its natural habitat is the native Loire, especially near Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire, famous for its Pouilly-Fumé. From disciplinary, here, Sauvignon is produced in purity and rarely involves wood aging. Its extraordinary minerality gives birth to wines of great depth, characterized by fresh notes of lime and grapefruit.
Another historic area for Sauvignon is Bordeaux, where Sauvignon Blanc is vinified in blends with Semillion, to produce sweet wines like Sauternes too. Here Sauvignon changes face and the flavor is round and rich due to the maturation in oak: the fruit turns yellow and increases the complexity of the wine.
In Italy, the Sauvignon Blanc has found fertile soil on the marl and sandstone of the hills of Gorizia’s Collio and Colli Orientali del Friuli, where it dominates along with Friulano, making Friuli a must visit place for any Sauvignon, and white wines, lover.
Good and fleshy are Sauvignon Blanc from Terlano, in South Tyrol, often served with local asparagus to create a phenomenal pairing.
Finally, do not miss out the opportunity to taste some Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, especially from the area of Marlborough, where we can find bottles that combine the amazing freshness and an sumptuous tropical richness.
Serving temperature of Sauvignon Blanc
Serve the Sauvignon in tulip-shaped glass at a temperature of 10-12 degrees. Wood aged wines with a few years on the shoulders deserve a few degrees more to enhance their roundness and richness. Acidity, flavor and fragrance are the main qualities of a top notch Sauvignon, so play with the temperature to correct deficiencies or accentuate certain characteristics. Serve it colder to underline the freshness or warmer to highlight aromas.