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Over the last 10 year Sauvignon blanc has risen through the ranks to become one of -if not the - most popular white grape variety in Ireland. The most well known examples are either from the Loire Valley in France, the spiritual home of the grape, and the source of world-class whites like Sancerre & Pouilly Fume, or from New Zealand, where Marlborough is the epicentre of the ‘Kiwi Style’ of Sauvignon, which is almost single-handedly responsible for the global popularity of the variety. But these examples only scratch the surface of what Savvy B (to its friends) has to offer. Outside of the towns of Sancerre & Pouilly Fume there is a wealth of quality Sauvignon to be found from the likes of Touraine & Haut Poitou. Elsewhere in France, Bordeaux produces both light, fresh and excellent value wines, as well much more serious, barrel aged and pricey wines from many of the great Chateaux, all of which are either single varietal Sauvignon, or blended with Semillon.
Even the idea of a ‘Kiwi Style’ is out-dated. Within Marlborough there are different regions and terroirs, soil types and winemaking styles, all of which result in a far broader spectrum of flavours and styles than you may expect- just look at Greywacke’s Wild Sauvignon for something wonderfully different. Australia produces some excellent Sauvignons from the cooler regions such as Adelaide Hills, but the very best are often found in Margaret River, and often in the ‘Bordeaux style’ blended with Semillon and given a touch of oak. Cool-climate South African is a revelation, stylistically somewhere between the grassy freshness of the Loire and the riper fruit of New Zealand. Chile is a huge producer of Sauvignon, much of it at the entry level but there is enormous potential for some really interesting wines -Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon shows the possibilities.
We’ve found some remarkable Austrian Sauvignons of late, and a wonderfully aromatic and vibrant German Sauvignon from Von Winning, showing that Sauvignon has a very bright future outside of the traditional growing regions. So, this International Sauvignon Blanc day, scratch the surface and discover something different….