Sauvignon Blanc

Australian Sauvignon Blanc wine region and flavour profile



Sauvignon Blanc tastes and aromas

Warm Climate Sauvignon Blanc has flavours of peach, passion fruit and kiwi fruit.
Cool Climate Sauvignon Blanc has grassy herbal notes of thyme, bell pepper and gooseberry and mineral characters.

Sauvignon Blanc mouthfeel

Light to medium-bodied, crisp and refreshing, notable acidity

Cellaring potential of Sauvignon Blanc

When young, Sauvignon Blanc has vibrant, fresh, tropical citrusy flavours and herbaceous, grassy aromas, however if tasted again in 6-12 months time they become more rounded, with a richer mouth-feel, and longer, softer finish. The majority of current Sauvignon Blanc wines have been created to drink now, however lately a number of New Zealand producers are creating more complex wine styles, including some time resting on lees as well as various levels of oak treatment. These wines are not necessarily at their best when very young, and can age quite gracefully for several years after vintage.

Facts about Sauvignon Blanc

  • When you blend Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon it has enough body to hold up to a little oak treatment. It makes a wine that has the creamy and buttery character of a chardonnay but without all the fruit.
  • Along with Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc was one of the first fine wines to be bottled with a screwcap in commercial quantities, especially by New Zealand producers. The wine is usually consumed young, as it does not particularly benefit from aging.
  • The asparagus, gooseberry and green flavour commonly associated with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is derived from flavour compounds known as methoxypyrazines that becomes more pronounced and concentrated in wines from cooler climate regions.Riper flavours such as passion fruit, along with other notes such as boxwood, may be driven by thiol concentrations.

Australian regions that produce Sauvignon Blanc

As cooler climates preserve a grapes natural acidity (and in turn heightens and defines its flavour), the Adelaide Hills cool climate provides some of Australia’s best examples of Sauvignon Blanc. The regions ancient soils and cool yet dry growing season give the Riesling wines finesse and purity, but with a powerful fruit driven punch.

In Western Australia, Margaret River also grows large amounts of Sauvignon Blanc to blend with Semillon to produce WA’s acclaimed ‘Classic Dry White’ styles. Sauvignon Blanc’s aromas, married with a Semillons soft palate and complexity sets this wine out apart from the rest.

Other premium Australian regions include the Yarra Valley, Tasmania, and Tumbarumba.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is famed for its pungently aromatic green capsicum (bell pepper), gooseberry & lush passionfruit characters. Styles can vary from this traditional style to those showing fresh-cut grass, tomato stalks, melons & lime. North Island styles tend to show soft, ripe, more tropical characters, whereas the more southerly styles show crisper, lighter more vibrant styles. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is predominantly cold-fermented in stainless steel to retain its famed “zing”, though more examples are being produced using oak, wild yeasts & lees stirring to add complexity.

Internationally, Sauvignon Blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Moldova and California.

What food to pair with Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine to serve with food. Its light to medium-body , combined with high acid and fresh, piercing style suits well with many first courses such as soups, salads, and appetizers. In general, the high acidity of Sauvignon Blanc has the ability to make most foods shine, much as lemon complements many dishes.

Sauvignon Blanc also works well with foods that are difficult to pair wine with, like green vegetables and spicy dishes. The naturally herbaceous quality of the wine makes it compliment dishes with fresh herbs, and its high natural acidity enables it to stand up to foods with higher acidity, like goat cheese, tomatoes, and yogurt.

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