Sauvignon Blanc: Articles on the Sauvignon Blanc White Wine Grape Varietal

Torre Rosazza Sauvignon & Friulano 2008 - IntoWineTV Episode 120

"Italian Whites" Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent, Cezar Kusik, and Rob Renteria taste and discuss Torre Rosazza Sauvignon and Friulani.

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Chateau Bonnet White Bordeaux and Clark-Claudon Cabernet Sauvignon

Wines to Go Buy This Week: A Crisp Summer White Blend by Chateau Bonnet and a Complex Napa Cabernet by Clark-Claudon Vineyards

Labor Day weekend is here and people across the US are gathering to toast the end of summer. As Labor Day marks the tipping point between hot summer nights and cool autumn evenings, my wine recommendations this week will focus on both a cool, refreshing summer sauvignon blanc to savor on these last days of summer and a full bodied Napa cabernet for those upcoming autumn evenings by the fireplace. So as we say farewell to summer 2011, here are two wines to go buy this week:

Chateau Bonnet LabelChateau Bonnett Entre-Deux-Mers Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Muscadelle Andre Lurton, 2010 - Now say that 5 times fast! A quick lesson for those of you who are unfamiliar with French wine: The French label their wines slightly different than we do in the US as they emphasize the place more so than the grape varietal or the producer. In this case, the vineyards and winery are located at Chateau Bonnet, the region is the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation of Bordeaux, the grapes are a blend of sauvignon blanc, semillon, and muscadelle, and the producer is André Lurton, whose family has presided over the vineyards for over 100 years. White Bordeaux is almost always a blend of primarily semillon and sauvignon blanc, with a few other varietals permitted. So why do I like this wine? It's light, crisp, low in alcohol (12%) and at approx $15 a bottle, a fantastic way to introduce yourself to a white bordeaux without breaking the bank. This wine is ideal for a warm end-of-summer picnic that calls for a cool refreshing beverage.

Crisp and Refreshing Summer White Wines by Broadbent, Dr. Loosen, and Spy Valley

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Crisp and Refreshing Summer White Wines by Broadbent, Dr. Loosen, and Spy Valley

The dog days of August are upon us and we have but a few weeks remaining before hot summer nights give way to crisp autumn leaves. This summer has been brutally hot for most of the US -though not too bad here in San Francisco, though September tends to be our hot month, if "hot" and "San Francisco" can actually be used in the same sentence- and I've had the great pleasure of discovering some fantastic white wines that are both tasty and refreshing for those hot nights. So before summer ends, here are three white wines to go buy this week:

Broadbent Vinho VerdeBroadbent Vinho Verde - Vinho Verde is a staple of Portuguese culture. Translated it means "Green Wine" which refers to its youthful freshness. It's a low-alcohol, light, crisp, and slightly effervescent wine that is about as close to perfection as a summer wine can be. Broadbent makes a fantastic Vinho Verde and at about $9 a bottle, it's worth buying a case to serve at your Labor Day picnic. Your guests will love it. About $9. Buy Broadbent Vinho Verde 

Asparagus & Sauvignon Blanc: A Wine & Food Pairing Challenge

As an avid foodie, and pretty good home chef, one of the things I’m loath to admit is that I am frequently ambivalent towards vegetables.  There are a few vegetables I hate, there are also few that I love, and then just a whole bunch somewhere in the middle.  Not sure if I was attacked by killer tomatoes (movie reference there for those over 35) as a kid, or what, but I rarely get excited about cooking the vegetables.  That said, there a few I do really like, and when the season hits I tend to overload on them.  During spring, one of my favorites is Asparagus…which is absolutely delicious and is great to pair with food.  But asparagus, also brings some serious wine pairing challenges.

Loos Family Sauvignon Blanc 2009 - IntoWineTV Episode 129

"Cult Wines of Crushpad" IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad.

Marlborough: New Zealand's Flagship Wine Region

If you mention New Zealand wine in conversation, most people will assume you mean sauvignon blanc, and with good reason.  New Zealand sauvignon blancs are considered to be the world's best by many wine experts.  And, if you are looking for the best of New Zealand's sauvignon blancs, you will inevitably end up in Marlborough.

Best New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

IntoWine.com asked a panel of wine experts for their recommendation for the best New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc:

New Zealand took the wine world by storm with its intensely flavored Sauvignon Blancs starting in the 1980s. Sauv Blanc is still the most widely planted grape in Kiwi Country, by a long shot, and there are numerous great examples. My favorite NZ Sauv Blanc from recent vintages is the 2012 Loveblock, the first vintage from Kim and Erica Crawford’s new label. They were the team behind the hugely successful Kim Crawford label, which they sold to Vincor International in 2003 for $8.6 million. The Loveblock is a complex, structured Sauvignon Blanc, with notes of ripe lime, smoke and sweet green chili. You can find it for an average of $18 at U.S. retailers.

Another favorite producer is the justly famous Cloudy Bay, which makes both a delicious, balanced, unoaked version, as well as a Sauv Blanc that is reminiscent of a white Bordeaux from a ripe year—the Te Koko, which spends 18 months in French oak. One more great one is the intensely flavored Saint Clair Family Estate Selection. Richard Jennings, IntoWine.com Featured Contributor and the Founder RJonWine.com.

Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé: Wonderful Summer Sauvignon Blancs

On the eastern end of the Loire Valley in France sit the two communes of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé where arguably the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world is produced.  For many, this is the true home for this grape.  While new world producers in California, New Zealand and elsewhere are creating excellent fruit laden Sauvignon Blanc’s, the producers in the Loire Valley excel in complex mineral driven versions of Sauvignon Blanc.  Among all of the regions of the Loire utilizing this grape, the reputations of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé are the best. 

Best Sauvignon Blanc "Value" Wines

With the economy in the gutter wine enthusiasts are on the lookout for exceptional wines for a good price with which they can sip away the summer.  IntoWine.com asked our panel of wine experts to recommend the best sauvignon blanc "value" wines:

Sauvignon Blanc is widely planted around the world, and there are many great examples. Not surprisingly, the best values in terms of quality and price—terrific wines for under $20--can be found in the several regions that specialize in Sauvignon Blanc: New Zealand, Chile’s Limari Valley and California’s Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. I am also including some great values from another up and coming region for Sauv Blanc—California’s Santa Barbara County. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything that I’ve rated 91 points or higher that is under $20 from the other great region known for Sauvignon Blanc, France’s Loire Valley.

The absolute stars of this category, for both value and quality, averaging $12 each from U.S. retailers, are three Sauvignon Blancs hailing from New Zealand—the country where Sauv Blanc is the most heavily planted grape, by far—and one from Chile. The NZ choices are Makara Wines and Villa Maria Private Bin, both from Marlborough, and Wither Hills of Wairau Valley. The Chilean value is Tabali’s Reserva Especial.

For a little more money, but still under $20, check out these great buys, taking in California high performers, as well as more from New Zealand. At an average of $14, Stoneleigh from NZ’s Marlborough and Woolaston from NZ’s Nelson region. For $15, look for Dry Creek Vineyard’s stainless steel fermented Sauv Blanc, The Girls in the Vineyard from Lake County, and Mt Beautiful from NZ’s Canterbury region. At $17, I recommend Saint Clair Family Estate from Marlborough, one of my highest rated Sauv Blancs last year; Mauritson Wines Dry Creek Valley; Rusack and Lincourt, both from Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley; and Man O’ War from NZ’s Waiheke Island.

At the upper end of my value recommendations at $18, but still incredible deals for the quality, are Huia and Loveblock from Marlborough, and Star Lane from Santa Barbara’s Happy Canyon region.  Richard Jennings, IntoWine.com Featured Contributor and the Founder RJonWine.com.

Bordeaux Blanc: The "Other" Bordeaux is a Great White Wine for Now and Later

Sancerre?  Yawn.  Chardonnay?  Ho-hum.  Albarino?  So 2007.  Looking for a new summer white to pair with fish, grilled veggies, and salads?  Something fresh, different?  Something crisp enough to sip in the sun, solid enough to drink with dinner, and complex enough to enjoy on its own?  Look no farther than Bordeaux.

Syndicate content