Name Variations Edit
- blanc fumé
- blanc fume
About Sauvignon blanc Edit
Wikipedia Article About Sauvignon blanc on Wikipedia
Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which probably originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It is now planted in much of the world's winelands, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine.
Depending on climate, its flavours can range from aggressively grassy to sweetly tropical, although perhaps the most memorable descriptor is "cat's pee on a gooseberry bush" , which is also the smell of fresh guava fruit. In France Sauvignon blanc is grown in Bordeaux, the Loire Valley (as Pouilly Fumé, Sancerre, and Sauvignon de Touraine), and Sauternes. Sauvignon was not considered a great wine until Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé were 'discovered' in Paris in the 1960s.
In the 1990s, wines from New Zealand made the grape quite popular, with less expensive and varietally correct wines produced by wineries such as Montana, Babich, Hunters and Cloudy Bay Vineyards. Many critics consider the latter to produce the very best Sauvignon Blanc in the entire world. Plantings in California, Australia, Chile, and South Africa are also extensive, and Sauvignon Blanc is steadily increasing in popularity as white wine drinkers seek alternatives to Chardonnay. However, "No other region region in the world can match Marlborough, the northeastern corner of New Zealand's south island, which seems to be the best place in the world to grow Sauvignon Blanc grapes" (Taber).
Sauvignon blanc's susceptibility to noble rot makes it ideal for production of luscious sweet wines, reaching its heights in Sauternes, blended with Sémillon.
In California until the 1970s it was usually made as a nondescript semi-sweet wine until Robert Mondavi made a dry varietal he named Fumé Blanc (a reference to Pouilly Fumé) which became so successful that the name Fumé Blanc is now recognised as a legal synonym for Sauvignon Blanc in the US.
DNA research has identified Sauvignon blanc and Cabernet Franc as the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sauvignon blanc is enjoyed slightly chilled, with fish or cheese. Along with Riesling, it was one of the first fine wines to be bottled in screwcap in commercial quantities, especially by New Zealand producers. It is usually drunk young, as it does not particularly benefit from ageing. Dry and sweet white Bordeaux, typically made with Sauvignon blanc as a major component, is the one exception.