Sauvignon Blanc is a wine that a lot of us love. It's dry, aromatic style usually hits the spot for white wine lovers. Often crisp and mineral with high acid, I'm more than happy to kicking back with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc in the evening.... afternoon.... late morning?.... whenever it's needed.
So as it's such a favourite, we picked it as the first variety to do in our comparative blind tastings, together with the Sommeliers Association of Singapore.
Trying the same variety across 12 different examples really helps highlight the differences that each region impart on the wine.
Cooler climates make the wine express 'greener' notes - the wines tend to be more herbaceous, grassy, crisp and mineral with bell pepper or even nettles being found. New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are often in this way, and so many drinkers are familiar with this style.
Warmer climates mean a more ripened grape, and this leads to Sauvignon Blanc that shows more tropical aromas with elements of white peach, passion fruit or elderflower.
So how did our Sauvignon Blanc's do?
The biggest success of the day went to a beautifully crafted wine from Touraine. Touraine is in the Loire Valley, which is also home to Sancerre and Pouilly Fume - perhaps the most famous Sauvignon Blanc regions in the world.
"Gooseberry, fresh green apple skin and some floral hints on the nose. Delicious ripe apple and gooseberry on the entry with a nice overlay of fallen white flowers and asparagus stems in the middle. Simple, clean flavours with good acidity and length and soft texture. Good." ~ Gerald Lu
The next wine that the Somms had a universal appreciation for was Maycas del Limari. This wine is special because it comes from a small winemaking region right in the north of Chile, close to the Atacama desert. I am lucky enough to have been there, and it's a phenomenal region. Vine grows next to cactus but there is a persistent cooling breeze from the Pacific Ocean.
"Smoked hay, fresh cut hay, lemon, fruit, minerality. Very pleasant wine." ~ Fabien Duboueix
Next big scorer was a Bordeaux blanc blend - not 100% Sauvignon blanc but we let it in for the diversity and comparative element of the tasting. It certainly added a different dimension and this is a premium wine experience. Complex, rich and as Chek says, below - a real treat. Buy to impress!
"This wine offers a herbal profile with a hint of oak and citrus fruit. Incisive and complex, it is a real treat. Well integrated" ~ Chek Wong
As always, opinions contrast with wine. It's such a subjective experience. Sommeliers don't become a different breed of human just because they taste a lot of wine - they differ in what they like and don't like, just like the rest of us.
Below I will pull out some of the highlights of the tasting notes and hope you find them useful.
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"Good... very tropical, grapefruit, cut grass and everything NZ has to offer" ~Fabien Duboueix
CANEPA, Finisimo 2011 (Chile)
"Appears to have some age to it. The nose veers towards asparagus and lime, while the acidity seems to be fading. Nevertheless, it still shows good fruit intensity." - Chek
SULA, 2012 (India)
"Brilliant lemon yellow
Nice balance of acidity and sweetness" ~ Daisuke
SANCERRE, Domaine du Nozay, France 2012
"Subtle and feminine, full of minerality, gunpowder, slight honey. Rich mouthfeel. Acid is not sharp. Wonderful. I want another glass" - Timothy Taw
TRIO, Concha y Toro, Chile 2012
"Aromatic and grassy with notes of passionfruit. Very bright and fruit forward with a suggestion of fennel on the finish." - Chek
LA PLAYA, Chile
"Some white flower, some hints of green tea leaf. Decent acidity. Good for quaffing on a warm day." Gerald
ALL THAT JAZZ, New Zealand
Explosive, typical nose. Tons of fresh fruit. Juicy, tasty, palate. Easy drinking. ~ Vincent Tan