We are in the dog days of summer now, with fall just around the corner. Many of us are ready for the pumpkin themed foods, and cable knit sweaters, however many more of us are still holding on to the warm offerings later summer still has to give. One of our favorite wines to enjoy during this time of year is Sauvignon Blanc. If you’ve never enjoyed the refreshing and subtle taste of a Sauvignon Blanc, take a moment to learn more about this elusive varietal.
The name itself personifies the carefree nature of the summer months. Sauvignon is French for ‘wild’. From this grape come the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Sauvignon Blanc itself originates from the rare Savagnin which can be found in a small portion of France bordering Switzerland.
How best to ferment Sauvignon Blanc is up for debate. There is the Stainless Steel or Concrete Barrel method (the most popular style) which harbors a high acidity and bold aromas of grapefruit and lime. However, oak fermentation yields a more sophisticated (and pricier) bottle. In an oak barrel, the grapes take on a creamier texture with flavors of lemon curd, crème brulee, and a subtle butter cookie taste. This style is more commonly blended with a Semillon to add candied lemon flavors.
Primary flavors of Sauvignon Blanc are white peach, grapefruit, passion fruit, gooseberry and green melon. Depending on the region in which the grapes came from soil type, climate, care), the fermentation process, and the age of the bottle, your particular bottle will capture any one of those notes along with a variety of others. Take a moment to do a taste test of different wines to find the one you like the best. Taste testing is the best part!
Some of our favorite Sauvignon Blancs come from Doukenie. The 2014 variety has a mild flavor of muddled citrus and lemongrass giving way to hints of peah and guava. It’s simple enough to enjoy with a nutty cheese, or as an aperitif. The 2011’s nose is a lovely bouquet of white pepper, toast, white peach and pear. It’s highlighted by a hint of kiwi juice and papaya seed with a touch of lime on the midpalate. This particular wine is medium bodied and pairs well with grilled fish or chicken.
What are some of your favorite Sauvignon Blancs? We’d love to set up a tour for you to try these wines among others along the beautiful Virginia countryside!