Thoughts On Sauvignon Blanc

Yesterday was World Sauvignon Blanc Day


I presume you sipped a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc yesterday. I am not a lover of the varietal but anyway, uncorked or rather twisted the Stelvin off a bottle of 2014 Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc from Chile’s Casablanca Valley and had a glass before lunch. I suppose it is OK as an aperitif but is not in the same class as Blanc de Blanc champagne or  well chilled Fino. A prominent UK wine writer once said “Sauvignon Blanc is the most forgettable grape.” The trouble is pairing it with food, specially the highly aromatic, pyrazine rich New Zealand offerings. Yet, people like it and it is remarkable that Kiwi wine industry some years ago captured the world market with this varietal alone. Some say it is the pyrazine in Sauvignon Blanc that hooked the wine drinkers and you probably remember the hapless South Africans who got into deep water by adding pyrazine to lacklustre Sauvignon. But, even without Dr. Richard Smart’s canopy management wizardry in the New World, generations of winemakers in Sancerre, Menetou Salon and Pouilly-Fume have always made gentle and elegant wines with Sauvignon Blanc. As a junior partner in a blend with Semillon, it makes an altogether different product. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon together make the splendid sweet wines of Sautern and David Hohnen in Margaret River used the same combination to make fabulous dry wines that thrill us all.

I agree that Sauvignon Blanc tastes good with asparagus and goat’s cheese. But, an Alsace Grand Cru Riesling or a Soave such as La Rocca or Calvarino from Leonildo Pieropan is a far better match. Give it a go when English asparagus hits the market in a few weeks.




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