This week I’m drinking: Sauvignon Blanc
Thursday, 26 July 2012

Wines of the week: July 27

This week I’m drinking: Sauvignon Blanc

Written by Henry Jeffreys

It’s not hard to like Sauvignon Blanc. But it’s also easy to tire of its rather obvious charms, which is why wine writers tend not to rate it. If I was asked to name three facts about this grape, I would say: 1) It does not work with oak. Those racy flavours clash with the butteriness of the new wood. 2) The climate in Australia is often too hot to grow this variety successfully, which is why they import shiploads of the stuff from New Zealand. 3) Sauvignon Blanc is best drunk as young as possible. It does not age. Here are some to savour…

Fox Gordon Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills 2011, £11.99, Waitrose:

Turns out that the Australians can do this grape very well indeed. Initially quite quiet with some fl oral and grapefruit flavours, but I kept on coming back to it over the course of two days with increasing pleasure. Elegant and beautifully balanced, it’s the wine to try if you think SB doesn’t do subtlety.

Sancerre d’Antan, Henri Bourgeois 2009, £28.55:

Untypical Loire Sauvignon, it has the kind of restrained power that you’d expect in a Chablis Grand Cru. Intense minerality, some nuttiness, very long, this is Sancerre with plenty of life ahead of it.

Malartic-Lagraviere Blanc 2007, £64.18, Goedhuis (by the case only): 020-7793 7900,

Graves is the best white wine-producing area in Bordeaux, and this wine shows how Sauvignon with a little Semillon can meld seamlessly with sweet oak. Yes it’s very expensive but it smells so beautiful that my wife wanted to wear it as perfume.

S1 Single Block Sauvignon Blanc, Yealands Estate 2011, £12.99, Marks & Spencer: 

All the typical New Zealand characteristics are present – green pepper, passion fruit and limes – but its elegance will have you reaching for more.

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