Matt Walker

Location: Northridge, CA

I am a Certified Specialist of Wine and uncertified Wine Geek! As a Snoother, I hope to raise awareness for smaller, lesser-known but quality driver producers. Major regions I specialize in include Washington, California, Tuscany, Bordeaux, and the Douro

Wines Less Traveled: Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc derives its name from the French Sauvage meaning "wild, savage, or unspoiled" which is quite apropriate for this grape which can have certain rough edges in its often very high acidity and some of the oddball flavors that crop up (grass and cat urine come to mind).  However, this is the fun of this, my all time favorite white grape.  It can thrive in many climates often transforming itself without losing the core of its being.  France and New Zealand of course but California, Washington and Chile have all produced world class examples.  Sauv Blanc can also produce very ageable whites especially from the Pessac-Leognan region of Bordeaux and would give white Burgundy a run for its money as France's greatest white wine.  The following wines all capture the essance of Sauv Blanc while using its savagenss to their advantage and at great prices to boot!

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Chateau la Louviere Pessac-Leognan Blanc (2009)
Comments: Still probably my favorite region for Sauvignon Blanc, and this wine reaffirms it. A lovely creamy texture (thanks to significant barrel aging) but without any woody flavors. Honeysuckle aromas give way to a lightly honeyed palette already beginning to develop a tiny touch of nuttiness. Candied lemons, and quince on the palette with a wonderful line of minerality and a long finish.
Previously available for $49.02
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2 Apex Ascent Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc (2010)
Comments: Washington might not jump into your head when you hear Sauv Blanc but when you think about it, the fact that it shares so many characteristics of Bordeaux, it should. Wonderful balance, lots of lemon zest, gooseberry, and hints of more tropical fruits and just a tiny touch of grass. Acid is right where it ought to be to complement the richer fruits of this wine. A best value SB.
Previously available for $12.00
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3 Gilles Blanchet les Champs des Plantes Pouilly-Fumé (2010)
Comments: Very well balanced, citrusy, cumquat, minerals and that wonderful flinty,smoky character that typifies great Pouilly-Fume. At $15 this wine is a great buy!
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4 Bevan Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Oakville (2010)
Comments: On my short list of best Sauv Blancs I've yet to try. An amazing array of layers and flavors. At the same time bright and lively but also (due to part of the wine aged in neutral oak) a creamy texture in the middle. The wine shows flavors from key lime and grapefruit to pineapple and kiwi with hints of fresh cut grass. Truly lovely!
Previously available for $30.00
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5 Christian Salmon Sancerre Cuvée Vieilles Vignes (2009)
Comments: Classic Sancerre minerality headlines this wine with limey citrus and hints of mint and lemongrass. Old vines give this wine an extra bit of intensity and concentration that is quite nice.
Previously available for $14.99
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6 Framingham Sauvignon Blanc (2010)
Comments: Classic NZ Sauv Blanc. Lots of kiwi and lime with nice minerality. Very expressive nose with balanced acidity. There's also touches of Asian spices and dried herbs that add some nice complexity.
Previously available for $4.99
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  • 540750Zuiko Ch La Louviere has made some of the best Sauv Blancs in memory but the 2005 sure wasn't one of them. Their 1981 was outstanding.

  • 842795Matt Walker Never got a chance to try the '05 but I guess I didn't miss anything

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