Thursday, 15 May 2014

5 Top Sauvignons to Celebrate World Sauvignon Blanc Day!

Photo: Auntie P (CCL)

 What? You didn't know it was World Sauvignon Blanc Day on the 16th May? What the hell is wrong with you?

To be honest, I had no idea either. It wasn't until Cadman Fine Wines reminded me on their handy little e-mail subscription feed. In all fairness, this is only the 5th annual S.B. day, so I am sure we can be forgiven. As long as we celebrate it hard tomorrow.

So, to celebrate one of the worlds favorite grape varieties let's pick some crackers to crack open on the big day!

Lets start with some cheeky cheapies!

La Cheteau Sauvignon Blanc
Sunset over Marlborough.
Taken from Trevor Dennis under the CCL
Great example of a reasonably priced (a.k.a. cheap) Loire sauvignon. It has everything you would expect: mouthwatering acidity, good structure, citrus fruit and that typical slate, wet stone minerality from the limestone soil.

Simple, to the point and good value. £7.99 in Majestic but can be swept up at £5 in Asda at the moment. Up yours, Majestic!

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (£9.95)

I tried this in a tasting at The Wine Society a few days ago and was extremely impressed. It is a slight twist on the standard expression of Marlborough Sauvignon with 7% fermented in oak barrels. Doesn't sound like much, but personally I found it made a huge difference - it's rounder, smoother and far more approachable.

To me, many Marlborough S.B's are just an acid fest. Drinking more than a few glasses is a feat of courage and stinging cheeks. This, however, is smoother and doesn't lose any of the classic gooseberry, peachy, tomato leaf flavour that has made this style so famous.

Now to get a little naughtier:

Sancerre Vieilles Vignes 2013 Domaine Paul Cherrier et Fils (14.99, Majestic)

Lets face it. Who doesn't like Sancerre? From the total novice to M.Ws, if you see a Sancerre on a wine list you're at least going to go 'ohhh, that could be nice'. It is a classic wine and this is a great example.

Although it does come under debate, Vieilles Vignes tends to mean that the wine is taken from old vines (at least 20 years old usually) meaning lower yields and more concentrated flavour. If it says it on the label, it is likely to be good quality.

 Racy acidity, gun flint and pencil shavings with plenty of ripe passionfruit and pear. A great wine with plenty of structure and good length. Great food partner for shellfish. Not painful either, at £14.99 from Majestic.

Clos Floridene Blanc, Graves 2011 (£18, The Wine Society)

To put it bluntly, I think this wine is the absolute nuts. Having done a tasting with winemaker Fabrice Dubourdieu I was absolutely blown away with his range, especially this wine.

60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillion this is a smooth, rich and buttery. Aged in oak it shows a whole other side to Sauvignon Blanc, one that can age and develop some stunning characteristics. Something which New Zealand makers such as Greywacke are starting to experiment with.

Mineral acidity, nutty oak, ripe peach and gooseberry with a fat body and lovely curves. My kinda girl. If £18 from The Wine Society is too much, try their 2nd wine, Drapeaux de Floridene, Graves 2011, which is only £13.50.

From Gajman under the CCL

Now I'm just on all fours twerking my ass off getting down right diiirrttyyyyy:

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (£19, The Wine Society)
 You can also get this from pretty much any indie merchant and various high street shops.

Cloudy Bay was the first wine I every tried that made me go 'Wow, what am I doing with my life!'. I must have been about 13 and was obviously doing very little. In a way I owe my interest and subsequent career in wine to this. *sob*.

Probably the most famous of the true Marlborough styles with oodles of gooseberry, tomato and that not so pleasant sounding 'cat pee' smell. Don't believe me? You haven't been sniffing enough cats. It's not even weird anymore. It's called 'cheesing', because it's fun-to-do. If anyone gets that reference I will be very happy.

Not cheap but oh so good. And only £19 at The Wine Society, just sayin'.

So there we are! My choices for your celebration of Sauvignon Blanc on the 16th May! As always, if you have any favourites or questions, don't be afraid to comment! Do tell us what you'll be drinking tomorrow...

P.S. As I only post once a week I would like to pass on my respects for Laurence Faller, winemaker at Domaine Weinbach (one of my favorite Alsatian producers) who sadly passed away from a suspected heart attack at the age of 47.

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