In an effort both to be fair and to recognize the global success of Sauvignon Blanc, I’ve filled my list with a wide variety of styles and appellations. This just goes to show that when the warmth of a sunny day makes you think of Sauvignon Blanc, one is never far out of reach.
I’ve also chosen this path to help illustrate the wide variety of wines available to the consumer as I am always hoping to nudge the complacent wine drinker out of his or her comfort zone. There is an amazingly brilliant variety of wine out there folks, come discover something new with my top 10 list of favorite Sauvignon Blanc producers.
Photo courtesy of Outburner via Flickr/cc
Macari Sauvignon Blanc "Katherine's Field" Long Island NY $20
I get to start with a sentimental favorite that is quite literally close at hand. New York’s Long Island wine region has grown through fits and starts over the years, with the focus tending to remain on red wines, wines that have certainly had their underwhelming moments over the years.
Sauvignon Blanc, on the other hand, has always been a shining star on Long Island. Well adapted to the moronic soil and coastal climate, the wines tend to be crisp and fresh in a lighter style. Macari’s exemplifies the style; light, refreshing and wonderfully transparent, they are worth searching for, or in my case driving over to the vineyard for once in awhile.
Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch/Elgin South Africa $20
As we work through this list you might come to realize that I am partial to a particular style of Sauvignon Blanc that is light, bright and refreshing, in short. South Africa, with its cool growing season, tends to produce just such a style and Mulderbosch in particular suits my palate quite well.
Lean, focused and crisp in the mouth, Mulderbosch produces a Sauvignon Blanc that packs in plenty of ripe fruit flavors while remaining taut and notably nervous on the palate.
Photo courtesy of DanieVDM via Flickr/cc
Patricia Green Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Oregon $20
I have to admit that I did not know much of Oregon’s Sauvignon Blanc when I was first introduced to Patricia Green’s version of it. Ordered off a wine list not far from the winery, it was a revelation after a week of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
Fruity and rich yet packing the classic grapefruit acidity of Sauvignon Blanc, this was a palate cleanser extraordinaire. This may speak more of Patricia Green’s winemaking than Oregon’s terroir, but in any case try to track down a bottle. It is only available from the winery and at select retailers and restaurants in Oregon.
Photo courtesy of turbotumble via Flickr/cc
Casa Silva Sauvignon Blanc Cool Coast Paredones Estate Colchagua Chile $25
Discovering a new source for a familiar wine or a new expression of terroir is always a joy for a jaded wine lover like myself. I am guilty of prejudice and bias just like anyone else, but I am also happy to let the world know of my mistakes. Such is the case with Chile and the country’s quite brilliant Sauvignon Blanc wines.
Until a recent trip to Chile, I had been under the impression that much of their Sauvignon Blanc was rather formulaic and quite commercial in style. Now I know that the best wines are all worth trying. There is a coming together of styles in Chile’s Sauvignon Blanc that blends mineral, fruit and herbaceous notes in a seamless package. Casa Silva Cool Coast is certainly one of the very finest expressions of this marriage.
Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc Section 94 Marlborough New Zealand $30
I know it will come as no surprise that a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc made this list, though the wine I have chosen might. While Dog Point is a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc producer, its Section 94 is far from typical.
Here we have New Zealand meets Pouilly-Fumé. Wild yeast and barrel fermentation mean that this is not simply cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush, but rather a complex, nuanced wine that has a soft, detailed texture; subtle, layered flavors of herbs, earth and fruit; and a smoky edge from the wood. It’s also does remarkably well in the cellar, proving false the theory that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t age.