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Sauvignon Blanc is the signature and most prevalent white grape variety in New Zealand. This grape was first commercially produced in the year 1979 after being introduced into the country six years prior (1973 to be precise) from Bordeaux, France. Globally, Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Australia, Chile, South Africa, California and Washington in the United States in smaller quantities. 

Wines resulting from these Sauvignon Blanc grapes are uniquely herbaceous and often exhibit green flavors of lime, capsicum, passion fruit, green apples, jalapeño, gooseberries, freshly-cut-grass, and peaches when compared to other wines. These wines also have a great balance of minerality and vibrant fresh fruit-forward characteristics as they are rarely aged in oak barrels.

In any wine, the climatic condition of the place in which the vines are grown largely dictate the style and quality of wine produced. Sauvignon Blanc is not any different. In addition to that, Sauvignon Blanc can be placed into different styles based on the length of time lees’ contact is allowed, fermentation process involved, the kind of ferments used in the process, the length of time the wines are allowed to age as well as the vessels employed in the aging process.

For instance, the northern region of New Zealand is characterized by warm conditions and so the grapes harvested from this place tend to be riper than those harvested from the south where the temperatures are cooler.  Wines from these ripe grapes are said to be softer, richer in stone-fruit flavors and nectarine whereas those from the south are said to be crispier, richer in tropical fruit flavors, herbaceous and higher in acidity levels.

Likewise, Sauvignon Blancs from France are regarded as earthier and bigger in minerality levels compared to those from other regions of the globe that are more fruit-forward and full-bodied.

Sauvignon Blanc is quite versatile in style and this characteristic allows it to be well paired with a good number of foods or be served as an aperitif. It is light-bodied and high in acidity. The list of dishes that it complements include seafood, herb-spiced foods, turkey, salads and citrusy foods, chicken, garlic glazed foods, pork chops, as well as tangy dishes.

The common Sauvignon Blanc wine in the market is the unoaked one but there is another kind that is aged in oak barrels and fermented using lees (which is basically dead yeast). Lees is responsible for the creamy texture of the wine at the end of the process. The latter kind is often a little pricier. Nevertheless, there is a good number of Sauvignon Blanc wines out here (whether oaked or not) that fit any budget and should definitely be tried out.

KONO Sauvignon Blanc 2018

From Marlborough, New Zealand, this bright Sauvignon Blanc has a great balance of fruity Passion and Citrusy feel that contributes to a zesty dry and consistent finish. In the glass, Kono is a pale green wine but in the mouth, you experience a perfect balance of minerality, acidity and residual sweetness that leaves you wanting more.

Governors Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

This white light-bodied New Zealand’s Version of Sauvignon Blanc has a great balance of both crispy and fruity passion and gooseberry tastes.

Forrest Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Made from grapes from different vineyards, Forrest Estate Sauvignon Blanc has a distinct and unforgettably refreshing fruity characteristic with some weight on the palate.

Martin Ray Sauvignon Blanc

From the Sonoma County of California, Martin Ray is a medium-bodied white wine that is known for its fruity aromatic and bright acidity characteristics. It is not just fruity; it is refreshing with melon and pear tastes.

Craggy Range Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2017

With a nectarine and apple aromas, this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has a perfect complexity, minerality and a persistent fruity and zesty character on the palate. It’s among the few wines aged in French oak barrels and stainless-steel tanks. This makes a great complement to seafood.

Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

This crispy medium-bodied white wine varietal from Marlborough, New Zealand is rich in tropical fruity and herbal notes that make it a perfect complement for seafood cooked as a stew. 

Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Jules Taylor is a complex herbaceous, fruity and aromatic wine all at once. It sends Pineapples, passion frits and citrusy signals on the palate, thus making you crave more. The acidity in this bottle is on the right spectrum and it can be enjoyed with baked or grilled dishes like potatoes and seafood.

Muirwood Sauvignon Blanc Arroyo Seco, 2017

A perfect balance of minerality, rich fruity aromas of apples, pears and peaches seem to come together with crispy notes are all found in this bottle of wine.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

Another one from Marlborough New Zealand. This perfect medium-bodied white wine offers you a smooth and refreshingly tangy ripe fruit experience of Pineapples and Citrus.

Angeline Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, 2017

This medium-bodied white wine from California has a citrusy and Melon taste with acidity levels and minerality that make it a favorite for many.

Folium Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Unique, weighty, complex and sweet is what defines Folium Sauvignon Blanc. It is made from specially handpicked grapes and fermented using dead yeast to create a creamy texture.

Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Medium-bodied, tropical fruit aromas and rich berry-flavors surround a sip of Whitehaven Sauv. Try it with salads, poultry dishes, and fish dishes.

Grey Rock Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

Produced in Marlborough, New Zealand, Grey Rock exhibits a complex ripe tropical fruity of gooseberry flavors as it is often served fresh. It is light in body, a characteristic that allows it to serve as a great aperitif though it still can be paired with light seafood. 

Matahiwi Holly Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Named after the owner’s daughter, Matahiwi Holly offers you complexity and weight. It is rich in minerality and lime skin aromas that consistently attend to a palate in a refreshing and smoky manner.

Blanc Sauv Sauvignon Blanc

Dry in style, Blanc Sauv is a product of the Marlborough Region in New Zealand that is light in body and fruity in nature. Gooseberries and passion consistently dominate the palate. This wine can be enjoyed at any time of the day with anything in the seafood category. 

Courtney Benham Sauvignon Blanc Napa, 2018

From Napa Valley, California, Courtney Benham is such an elegant medium-bodied white wine that presents you with a juicy-fruity and fresh acidity character. You will never go wrong pairing Courtney Benham with cheesy foods, vegetables, and seafood.

Fern Ridge Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

One of the dry, medium-bodied white wines produced in Marlborough that is intensely aromatic. On the palate, you will taste the passion, lime, and grapefruits. It is well paired with spicy dishes, chicken, and seafood.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Herbaceous, fruity, and complex are what Ata Rangi exhibit. Uniquely produced, fermented and oaked, this wine has a great texture and a remarkably amazing taste. When being produced, it worked on in batches (in fermentation, certain periods of time and aged in batches). The resulting wine brings forth complexity and uniqueness.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

This crispy white wine from New Zealand is medium in body and fruity. In the mouth, you will taste ripe tropical fruits and lime. The acidity balance in this bottle is so good that the wine can literally be paired with any dish.

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2017

Fruity, herbaceous, smoky, crispy, complexity and refreshing are all that Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc presents. You will taste peaches, apples, nectarine, and lime all in a single sip!

Amici Sauvignon Blanc Napa, 2018

Offering a creamy and fruity texture, Amici from Napa Valley in California is a light-bodied white wine that is elegantly delicious and rich in green apples and lemony taste.

Mt Hector Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Mt. Hector Sauvignon is quite complex and flavorful with a balance of minerality. It is one of the few fermented wines whose fermentation is done in steel tanks using yeast that can withstand low temperatures. You will taste passionfruit, gooseberries, and lime in this bottle.

Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2018

From the Nautilus Estate, this wine has been fermented with old yeast. The lees thus contribute to the creamy nature of the wine. It is high in flavors and acidity that makes it a good pair with spiced and hot peppered foods.

Babich Marlborough Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016

A full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc variety from the Marlborough county in New Zealand. This is a uniquely soft and rich wine with a ripe-fruit taste that is made from a variety of grapes in the different vineyards in the region.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc

From Marlborough, New Zealand, Villa Maria offers you an amazing and addictive wine that should be tried out, with a great balance of both minerality, acidity and sweetness.

Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Nobilo can be enjoyed alone, served as an aperitif of paired with food. It is a product of the famous Marlborough County in New Zealand that is rich in fresh aromas and flavors with a great balance of acidity and ripe fruit sweetness that it exhibits.

Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

This one is so fruity a zesty. On the palate, you will taste passion and other tropical fruits that offers you a refreshingly bold and crispy wine.

Other Sauvignon Blanc wines in markets globally include;

  • Cottesbrook Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
  • Mud House Sauvignon Blanc
  • Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc, 2018
  • Matua Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
  • Duck Hunter Sauvignon Blanc 2018
  • Giant Sky Marlborough Sauv Blanc
  • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc
  • Seagull Mountain Sauvignon Blanc
  • Nau Mai Sauvignon Blanc
  • Kia Ora Marlborough Sauv Blanc, 2018
  • Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc 2018
  • Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc
  • Huia Sauvignon Blanc 2018
  • Woodbridge Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc

Conclusion

In France, Sauvignon Blanc grape is called “Sauvage” which translates to wild grape because back in the day, Sauvignon Blanc rapidly grew in the region as a weed would. For a long time, it was used as a blend in wines like the signature dessert wine Sauterne before its full potential was realized by New Zealand’s sommeliers and those from the Sancerre’s region of Northern France (where it is known as Sancerre). It was in New Zealand that Sauvignon Blanc gained popularity and love for its style and affordability. 

Found to the North of Marlborough’s New Zealand Island, Sauvignon Blanc wines are softer compared to those from the southern part.  They are less herbaceous than the southern wines that are known to exhibit herbaceous characters.      

Even though a lot of Sauvignon Blanc wines are produced in a dry style, some producers are said to add more texture to their wines by adding some residual sugars in their products. It also is used as a component of signature wines such as White Bordeaux together with other grape varietals like Muscadelle and Semillon. 

Again, depending on the region of production, Sauvignon Blanc goes by different names in the market. In the United States, it is known as Fumé Blanc (this one is Oak-treated), Feigentraube in Germany, Muskat-Silvaner in Austria or simply Sauvignon in Italy.

It is really important that you understand your wine style before settling on any wine bottle, be it in a wine store or in an online shop. Getting the right bottle for your wine needs will not only guarantee to offer you satisfaction but also offer you value for your money. The latter is more especially applicable when on a budget. For that reason, it is advisable that you do your research, know what different wine dealers are offering before then re-evaluating your need/demand.

If you are stuck, don’t shy away from seeking professional assistance as most wine dealers are always ready to help out people in such situations. If anything, they give the best advice as they are quite informed about the latest trends and styles that might likely fit your description. Keep in mind the higher up a wine’s price spectrum, the higher its quality is likely to be.