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Sauvignon Blanc

(SOH-vihn-yohn BLAHN)
Synonyms: Sauvignon Vert/Tocai Friuliano/Sauvignonasse, Sauvignon Gris

Wine Name: Sauvignon Blanc, Fumé Blanc (California), Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre (Loire Valley), some Bordeaux Blanc, Pavillon Blanc (Bordeaux), Saint-Bris (Burgundy near Chablis), Friuliano (Italy), Sauvignonasse (Slovenia)

Background: Sauvignon Blanc is a French grape varietal spread around the world with some variants. In cool climates, the Sauvignon Blanc grape generally takes on classic green, herbaceous flavors such as grass, green pepper, gooseberries, passion fruit or elderflower. It has a dry, crisp, pungent taste and medium body. The French Loire Valley regions of Sancerre and Pouilly (more herbaceous and lemon grass flavor) as well as the South Island of New Zealand (more grapefruit in flavor) yield examples of this type. In northern Italy, Sauvignon Vert, known as Friulano or Tocai Friulano (now not authorized as a name), is slightly less aromatic but still has a grassy, green edge to it.

In temperate or warm climates (California, Australia, Chile, South Africa ) the Sauvignon Blanc grape takes on more tropical flavors such as melon, kiwi, fig, lime and grapefruit aromas. Its wines still taste dry and acidic. Oak is occasionally used with Sauvignon Blanc (some Fume Blanc, white Bordeaux) but it makes the wine fuller bodied, with pears, herbs and citrus and a more balanced acidity.

Classic Brands and Sources: Marlborough New Zealand – Oyster Bay, Cloudy Bay, Kim Crawford, Brancott; France – Henri Bourgeois, Jean-Claude Chatelain, Pascal Jolivet, Chateaux Smith-Haut- Lafite; California – Araujo, Kunde, Mason, Murphy-Goode, St Supery, Wente; Chile – Montes, Santa Rita, Concha y Toro; South Africa- Mulderbosch


Style #1 – Cool ClimateBody – light to medium

Acidity – high and tangy

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Style #2 – Warm ClimateBody – light to medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – slight fruity

Tannins – low

Style #3 – Sauvignion Vert/FriulanoBody – light to medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – slight fruity

Tannins – low

Style #4 – Fumé BlancBody – light to medium

Acidity – medium to high

Sweetness – slight fruity and hint oak

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Cool weather pairs with herbal, and fairly acidic dishes and sushi, warm climate and Friuliano pairs with more medium acidic and medium-bodied dishes, Fume Blanc can also do well with lightly smoked dishes

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Baked or sautéed fish/shellfish, grilled seafood (Fume Blanc), sushi (cool climate), baked/roasted chicken, turkey or pork, grilled white meats (Fume Blanc), light curry dishes, Mexican dishes, salsa, Tex-Mex or Thai dishes, salads, vegetable dishes

Cheese Pairings:
Boursin herbed (cool climate), Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Cream (warm weather), Neufchatel , Saint -Felicien (French cow;s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois