I love a good crisp wine all the time, but especially when the temperatures soar. In a wine store with a wide variety, I’ll pick up something from the Loire Valley, Saumur or Muscadet, perhaps. I love a good Picpoul Blanc. But for grocery store grabs, and any occasion actually, I go for Sauvignon Blanc. I know there are nay-sayers in the “wine world” but I’m a “yay-sayer.” For consistency, great price points, and just the easy, refreshing drink I am looking for, it never lets me down.
France, New Zealand, and Chile are the biggest producers of the grape. As with most French wine, you’ll have to look for the region or the fine print. Bordeaux or Loire are good bets.
This infographic from Social Vignerons gives a great visual of what to expect from the grape. (Follow the link for more information.)
The profile of all grapes will change depending on the climate. I am generally a cool-climate girl so sites with the elevation, the diurnal swing, or cooler temps in general will maintain the acid I’m looking for. Here are a few favorites ranging from “found at any grocery store” to harder to find. First, New Zealand.
Matua-You can find this Marlborough wine at any grocery store. Usually under $10. A great party wine with classic grapefruit notes, lime leaf, totally refreshing and affordable.
Matahiwi Estate-Harder to find but worth the drive. I get it locally at Central Market. Grown sustainably in Wairarapa, look for gooseberry and lime, and far more complexity than you’d expect at this price point. Their site says $22, but it is much less at Central Market. Shhhh!
This summer I sampled three from Côtes de Bordeaux. In the region you’ll often find the majority to be Sauvignon Blanc with a little something on the side. Usually Semillon. One of these had a splash of Sauvignon Gris, a new grape for me. It is supposed to add notes of passionfruit.
(The following were provided as media samples by Teuwen Communications. Thoughts are my own, no other compensation.)
2017 Château Carbboneau Margot AOC Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux ($12) -Green apples and grapefruit, zippy and fresh, a touch of Semillon adds depth. Their New Zealand heritage is reflected in the fresh profile.
2017 Château Grand Renard Sauvignon AOC Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux-70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gris grown organically by fourth generation farmers. Vibrant, weightier tropical fruit, citrus and yellow floral notes. Another bargain at $12.
2017 Château Peybonhomme les Tours “Le Blanc Bonhomme” AOC Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux-From the largest certified biodynamic estate in the region, this 50% Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon blend is made by a fifth generation sibling team. Fermented in 40% in new barrels, the rest in concrete which gives the wine a layered mouthfeel. Baked pineapple, dried apricot, exotic citrus and nutmeg notes. Very interesting, versatile and delicious. While not technically a “Monday wine” at $23, it is worth seeking out.
There are so many delicious Sauvignon Blancs, accessibly priced. What are some of your favorites?