Sauvignon Blanc is an aromatic white grape variety originating from France. Today, it is one of the most popular grapes grown in cooler to moderate climates, usually as a single varietal. It is known for its high acidity, citrus fruits and herbaceous flavors (think green bell pepper.) Because its commonly grown in cooler climates, it is able to maintain its acidity and refreshing characteristics.
Also known as Fume Blanc in the U.S., Feigentraube in Germany, or simply “Sauvignon” in parts of Italy, Sauvignon Blanc is an early-drinking wine that is usually not stored in oak barrels or made for long-term aging. Even though mediocre versions are often mass-produced in high-volume viticulture areas, France’s Loire Valley is home to many premium expressions. Here it is also called Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Menetou-Salon.
Some of the leading Sauvignon Blanc producers in Bordeaux, France come from the Graves and Pessac-Léognan AOCs where they make delicious, complex, and sometimes oak-aged expressions of the grape. In Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc is blended with Semillon and Muscadelle grapes to create the famous wine known as “White Bordeaux.”
Around the World
This grape is grown across the world, mainly in cooler to moderate climates. It is widely planted in Marlborough, New Zealand, where it has intense fresh flavors of bell peppers, green fruits and citrus notes. Sauvignon Blanc is also found in Australia, Chile, and in the cooler regions of California. Some of the best expressions are found in Constantia, South Africa, where it tastes of green fruit and wet stones.
Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with light chicken and turkey, fish, shrimp, lobster, fruit salad, Caesar salad, soft cheeses and white sauces. It also compliments an array of herbs and vegetarian cuisines.
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