Another Great Summer wine!

Sauvignon Blanc is another great white wine for the summer months. Many experts describe it as a refreshing, dry, crisp wine, making it perfect to sip on during the warmer days. Sauvignon Blanc has a range of flavors from grassy to tropical fruit and citrusy, reflecting the climate and terroir in which the grapes grown. It is a wine that pairs well with fish and cheeses and is one of the few wines that pairs exceptionally well with sushi. The Sauvignon Blanc grape is believed to originate from the Bordeaux Region and Loire Valley in western France. It is now a popular varietal grown in New Zealand, Chile, Australia, South Africa and in California and Washington States in the U.S. As I mentioned earlier, the different climates and terroir of these different regions greatly influence the flavor of the wine. In the Bordeaux Region of France, the maritime climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly and create a nice balance of sugar and acidity. The soil is comprised of gravel and compact chalk, imparting a nice minerality to the wine. In Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Semillon to create a wine that has a nice citrus fruit personality.

In the Loire Valley in particular, the Sancerre region, a continental climate also allows for slow ripening of the grapes. The soil make-up of chalk and marl produces intense minerality. Here the wine tends to have more floral notes with a touch of spice. They tend to be rich and complex. During the 1990s, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, specifically from the Marlborough Region on the South Island, became incredibly popular. The cool maritime climate and sandy loam soil over slate shingles create a pleasing wine that has grapefruit notes, nice minerality and refreshing acidity.

In the ’90s, Chile began to export quality Sauvignon Blanc wines as well. The cooler climate and mineral-rich soil planted at higher elevations tend to create a wine similar to those from France. They have less acidity with grassy flavors and nice minerality. Most wines from Chile tend to reflect those from France due to the fact that the wine makers there often consult with French farmers and wine makers.

In the U.S., Sauvignon Blanc gained popularity during the ’60s. It is grown mainly in California and Washington States. The climate and terroir is diverse in these regions and the wine tends to reflect where it is grown. They can mimic the wines of the South Pacific, and those of France. They can also be made in a unique style, which has been named Fume Blanc, where the wine is more rounded and softer with melon notes.

As with most wines, the ripeness of the grape influences the flavor it imparts on the wine. Less ripe grapes have higher acid levels and more green flavors, while riper grapes have more tropical flavors and over-ripe grapes have citrus flavors. Wine makers can choose to blend the different grapes to achieve the style of wine they would like for the final product. Now that you know a little bit more about the different flavor profiles of Sauvignon Blanc, head out and find what suits your palate. If you ever have any question feel free to ask me at Rob@vinovinonline.com or your local wine professional.

Happy drinking

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