Like rosé, Sauvignon Blanc is an easily accessible wine, it's crisp and welcomingly refreshing in the summer heat. We don’t need to overcomplicate Sauvignon Blanc, it’s a wine typically bought and enjoyed young. Yes, you can have it cold, have it really, really cold if you want and you’ll still enjoy the dry wine with its plethora of flavours.
What makes Sauvignon Blanc a great grape is its ability to express different, interesting flavours and aromas. You can typically expect some herbaceous notes, florals and exotic fruits from more standard productions, though some regions such as Bordeaux and California may barrel ferment the grapes for a creamier texture and richer body. When we dive a little deeper into the broad range of wines from new- and old-world wineries, we can truly appreciate the various guises these household grapes can undertake.
Sauvignon Blanc quickly made a name for itself in the late seventies in New Zealand and became the household grape for the region, but it's Bordeaux from which it originates and thrives on those gravelly soils. We've rounded up a selection of exciting Sauvignon Blanc's to win over even the hardest critics, from both old-world and new-world wine regions.
Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc
Owned by the Louis Roederer group, Merry Edwards is more commonly known for its Pinot Noirs but this Russian River Sauvignon Blanc is a treat. Having been barrel-fermented, it’s got a rich texture and indulgent flavour. From notes of honey and toast to peach and juicy pineapple there’s also a dash of vanilla to round it all off. It’s a wine to savour and one to win over those who have sworn off Sauvignon Blanc.
£57.50 from Harvey Nichols
La Clarté de Haut Brion 2014
Heralded as one of the wine greats, Haut-Brion is a Premier Grand Cru Classé based in Bordeaux, namely the Pessac-Léognan appellation, one of the most prestigious in this region. La Clarté de Haut Brion 2014 is a combined second wine of Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc and La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, it’s mostly Sauvignon (66%) but blended with Semillon and fermented in oak to give the nectarine and citrus flavours a silkier texture with a hint of oak.
$115 from Wine Chateau
Peter Michael L'Apres-Midi Sauvignon Blanc 2018
From the mountainous region of Sonoma Valley, Peter Michael’s L’Apres Midi is another fantastic find. Made with 90% Sauvignon Blanc and a splash of Sémillon, it is bursting with aromatic flavours from honeysuckle and marzipan to hints of spice and minerality. It’s certainly terroir-expressive and having been fermented completely in French oak barrels, it has a beautifully refined palate with great ageing potential.
$59 from Wine Library
Jordan Wine Estate - The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc 2017
The South African wine industry is in need of support following the devastating impact of COVID-19. This Jordan Sauvignon Blanc from Stellenbosch makes getting behind them easy. It’s a great summer sipper, off-dry with a herbaceous sweetness that’s cut through with apple and citrus. It’s a great Sauvignon Blanc to keep in the fridge for casual summer evening drinks.
£14.41 from Winebuyers
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Cloudy Bay is one of the household names that really put Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on the map. You’ll often find it on the menus of great restaurants around the world. For a fail-safe dry Sauvignon Blanc Cloudy Bay offers herbaceous flavours combined with gooseberry and citrus fruits.
£24 from Clos19
J. de Villebois Sancerre Silex 2016
For a fantastic Loire Sancerre, J. de Villebois Silex is well worth a try. Of the Villebois estate, J. de Villebois is made from the winery's best vineyards. It’s an exciting discovery of 100% Sauvignon Blanc, offering something slightly different to the others. This Sancerre sets itself apart with its unique flavour profile, you get a real sense of the flint terroir from the bouquet through to the palate. It’s got a surge of salinity that’s balanced with citrus pith and grapefruit.
€26 from Gall & Gall
Grgich Hills Estate Fumé Blanc 2017
Fumé Blanc is another name for Sauvignon Blanc made in the US and Grgich Hills is one of the great wineries that put Cali wines on the map. This Fumé Blanc has been partially aged in French oak barrels and spent six months on the lees. The result is a beautiful nose with a hint of smokiness with a tart, refreshing palate of green apple, melon and lemon zest.
$31 from Grgich
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc
This is a great Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that breaks the mould from the more common styles from the region. With Kevin Judd (formerly of Cloudy Bay) at the helm, it’s quickly making a name for itself. In fact we tried the Greywacke Chardonnay earlier in the year and were delighted with it, so it’s nice to get behind the wineries household style. Showcasing plenty of depth, expect to enjoy a plethora of tropical flavours, there’s a note of salinity and hint of toast, most likely from the partial oak barrel fermentation.
£15.95 from Selfridges
Cakebread Cellars has really made a strong name for itself over the years for its Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. This dry wine speaks volumes for the quality and at such a great price point. Woven with minerality, sweet citrus flavours and green apple it boasts a long, crisp finish. It's a must for your next seafood dinner, where shellfish and whitefish will be the dream pairing, though there's no doubt this has a couple of years aging potential too.
£29.50 from Corney & Barrow