It's as ubiquitous a grape varietal as you will find - grown everywhere on the planet from France to Australia, the United States to Chile - and is also one of the 18 noble grape varieties of the wine world. And as a "parent" varietal to Cabernet Sauvignon (alongside Cabernet Franc!), it's importance in the industry might often be overlooked. But make no mistake, Sauvignon Blanc is a seriously cool and versatile grape that we all owe a lot to.
The most recent, incredibly popular style of Sauvignon Blanc came in the form of the ultra-vegetal and acidic bottlings from New Zealand, where you would typically find a light, fresh, bright, and somewhat grassy expression of the varietal. Though styles would vary within the spectrum (more weight from places like Martinboro; more crisp acidity from Marlborough) the overarching style was one that was very light, very clean, and very crushable. Sales of Sauvignon Blanc were the modern day version of Rosé sales, and keeping things in stock was almost impossible. But all things must pass...
Sancerre is perhaps the "best" version of Sauvignon Blanc we are all familiar with (all due respect to the myriad of other outstanding wines made around the globe, but we're talking about the aggregate of the appellation here). Located in the Upper Loire, Sancerre (blanc) is 100% Sauvignon Blanc and makes a style of wine that usually has more stone fruit, wonderful flint minerality (thanks to the Silex soils in certain parts), and just a touch of mild herbaceousness. Because of their wonderful balance and outstanding level of complexity, Sancerre might be some of the greatest value white wine you can find anywhere. There are TONS of awesome (and affordable!) producers available, but those seeking that "next level" should absolutely seek out names like Vacheron, Cotat, Chotard, and Claude Riffault - just to name a few.
There are too many other regions and styles to name here, but if you're interested in exploring the differing styles of amazing Sauvignon Blanc we would suggest you look in California (yes!), Chile, Italy, and Bordeaux. A good thing to remember while you're seeking out different expressions is that (usually) the cooler the region/area, the higher the level of acidity and crispness you're likely to find. Warmer climates will produce a more broad-shouldered, fuller style wine with less sharp edges and acidity. So, a Sauvignon Blanc from Alto Adige in Italy will probably have more apparent acidity and crispness than, say, one made with grapes grown on the Napa Valley floor! But no matter your preference, we can all agree that Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile and uber-important varietal that can produce some truly world-class wines!
Click the link below to check out 10 of our favorite Sauvignon Blanc's from around the world. Use the code SAUVBLANC2021 for free shipping on 6 bottles or more - mixing and matching is okay (and encouraged!)
When Daniel uses Pinot Noir to make rosé, it captures some of the fresh grassiness and mineral of his Sancerre blanc. Try it next time you have goat cheese, pâté, or saucisson....
"Locations called “Les Chasseignes” are common in Sancerre. This local name designates caillottes soil: shallow limestone soil and subsoil containing overlapping stones. Stépha...
Always one of the top rosés from Sancerre by anyones’ reckoning, the secret to this wine is that it has never been an after thought. The pale salmon color is the result of a di...
Napa's Epic 2018 Vintage
After the devastating and tragic fires that dramatically affected Napa Valley in...Read more
Library Pass Subscription
When you purchase a Library Pass, you get a year's worth of free ground shipping from Wine Library.