As Ireland’s favourite grape variety, Sauvignon Blanc surely needs no introduction but as the wines tend to be so well suited to summer, I thought I would use this week’s blog to highlight some of the superb Sauvignons we currently have on offer.
While France’s Loire valley can claim the title of being Sauvignon’s spiritual home, New Zealand is undoubtedly the driving force behind the explosion of Sauvignon Blanc onto the world stage, thanks to New Zealand, Sauvignon’s popularity has never been as high as it is now and it shows little sign of slowing down, so I am starting my selection in Marlborough.
The Giesen brothers, originally from Germany made their way to New Zealand in the 1980’s to set up a winery that today is one of the largest in Marlborough, their Bay and Barnes Block is a benchmark Marlborough Sauvignon packed with ripe tropical flavours; passionfruit, grapefruit, kiwi & lime beautifully balanced by the crisp finish.
At Whitehaven, owner, Sue White leads a small, talented, committed team who together are carving global recognition for the Whitehaven label. The ‘Greg Label’ is their Premium Sauvignon Blanc which was created in memory of Sue’s Husband Greg White. Richer and more complex than the regular Whitehaven, and in true Marlborough-style is hugely aromatic on the nose and delivers masses of fruit on the palate.
We have to make our way back to France for my next two selections, our first stop is in the Southern Languedoc region, and to the Hospitalet estate, where multi award-winning winemaker Gérard Bertrand makes a very classy Sauvignon which is grown in exceptional limestone vineyards on the Mediterranean coast giving it some chalky notes to go with the ripe gooseberry and citrus fruit.
I am finishing up with a classic from Henri Bourgeois, who is one of the Loire's most celebrated premium producers.
Their Porte de l' Abbaye Pouilly Fumé is a truly stunning expression of Sauvignon Blanc with a lovely lemon curd aroma plus gooseberry but also the appellation's signature stony mineral character.