One of the fastest growing and most popular grape varieties, especially in the New World, Sauvignon Blanc is known for its very obvious aromas that range from passion fruit to boxwood. The variety is fairly easy to recognize with its grassy notes, the green hues in its colour and above all its clean, zesty acidity. With age and with ripeness the crisp fruit (which has also been described as green pepper, nettle, gooseberry and lime blossom) can become rounder with notes of honeydew melon, pear and linden.
The grape is believed to have originated in the Loire, where it still finds its purest expression. In the last 20 years, the variety has gone through a revolution since Denis Dubourdieu, the brilliant wine researcher and professor in Bordeaux identified the precursors of its aromas, which are sulphur compounds that become volatile when exposed to oxygen, called thiols. To preserve these thiols the grapes are usually macerated on the skins for a short period at cold temperatures before being fermented in stainless steel tanks.
The most obviously fruity, aromatic Sauvignon Blancs come from New Zealand where the intense box tree and passion fruit notes are unmistakable. In France, the wines are more restrained with mineral notes mixing with grassy, fruity tones. In Bordeaux the grapes are picked at full maturity, vinified in barrels and often blended with honey-scented Semillon to provide the necessary flesh before being aged in oak; these wines are capable of long age. Apart from New Zealand, the variety has had great success throughout the New World where it is prized for its intense aromas and juicy, fruity acidity.
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- 2012 Château LauriolFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0,75l White€6.00 €4.96This fresh and fruity Sauvignon Blanc comes from the stable of wines made by the talented Nicolas Thienpont in the Côtes de Francs region in Bordeaux. The white wine of Château Puygueraud is made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris grapes, fermented at cool temperatures and allowed to bottle age, this is an expressive wine with notes of citrus and orchard fruit, a developed structure and a good, almost smoky finish.
- 2013 Domaine ThomasLe Pierrier Sancerre0,375l White€7.84 €6.48A well-known domaine which has beautiful Sauvignon vineyards planted on limestone slopes. The wine is balanced and fresh with floral and herbaceous notes. The palate is flavoured with orchard fruit flavours and has a nice streak of minerality. Very elegant, long and fresh on the finish. Drink well-chilled with shellfish and grilled fish dishes.
- Bordeaux0,75l WhiteBio€7.90 €6.53If it is true that pretty wines come from lovely sites, than the Moulin de Peyronin, owes its attractive aromas and flavours to the picturesque village of Pujols in the heart of the Entre-deux-Mers region of Bordeaux. This youthful wine produced from organic grapes (70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon) grown in the clay limestone slopes of the village. The wine is made simply: pressing directly after picking, cold stabilisation and fermentation and then aging on the fine lees for a couple of months. The result is a wine with lively aromas of fresh flowers, orchard fruit, cut hay and peaches. On the palate the wine has a mineral liveliness and is quite spicy and long in the finish without losing its vibrant freshness. Great as an aperitif, or with oysters, shellfish and other fish.
- 2016 Marigny-NeufSauvignon Val de Loire0,75l WhiteBio€8.75 €7.23The winery’s best seller, this organic Sauvignon Blanc is crystal clear, platinum yellow. Piercingly fruity with notes of box tree and guava; on the palate it is quite rich with lots of aromas and acidity. A very aromatic finish which is a definite sign that this is a great Sauvignon. Night picking ensures the freshness of the grapes which are then cold macerated on the skins for nine hours to provide more character to the wine. Loaded with lovely varietal character, the wine gets on very well with oysters, prawns and other seafood. Far from being shy, it matches well with goat cheese.
- Francs, Côtes de Bordeaux0,75l WhitePrimeur€12.50 €10.33Purchased by Nicolas Thienpont in 1988, the estate produces a fine white wine which rivals better known Bordeaux. This year there is more Sauvignon in the wine than usual, with the blend being 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gris and 50% Semillon. Pale lemon colour with ripe orchard fruit aromas, fresh and good spicy flavours with lots of acidity, lots of personality, wild flowers, grapefruit, apple blossom, oak ; pretty.
- 2008 Château FilhotSauternesDeuxièmes Crus 0,375l White€13.06 €10.79A magnificent estate located in the heart of the Sauternes region which produces wines that are rich, succulent and very traditional in style. The nose is very expressive with notes of honey, apricots and stewed peaches. The palate has a very pretty sweetness, wonderful balance and stony mineral complexity.
- 2013 Domaine ThomasLe Pierrier Sancerre0,75l White€13.70 €11.32A well-known domaine which has beautiful Sauvignon vineyards planted on limestone slopes. The wine is balanced and fresh with floral and herbaceous notes. The palate is flavoured with orchard fruit flavours and has a nice streak of minerality. Very elegant, long and fresh on the finish. Drink well-chilled with shellfish and grilled fish dishes.
- 2007 Château FilhotSauternesDeuxièmes Crus 0,375l White€14.30 €11.82Bright and pure with a lovely fruity nose of apricots and grapefruits. A very pretty Sauternes at a very good price. Instensely concentrated and very fresh. Very wel-made, a Sauternes with lots of character.
- 2016 Domaine ThomasLe Pierrier Sancerre0,75l White€14.40 €11.90A well-known domain that has beautiful Sauvignon vineyards planted on limestone slopes. The wine has lovely spicy fruit with very concentrated aromas of ripe pears, citrus and freshly cut grass. The palate is fine and dry with integrated acidity and great intensity of flavour. This is a real success with good length and persistence. Drink chilled with shellfish and grilled fish dishes.