Summer in Texas is in full swing, with temps are hovering slightly beyond 100 F. Whether you live in a cooler or warmer region at some point we all need a break from the heat and humidity. Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect grape for year round enjoyment, but it seems to provide a glass of solace during the hot summer months. Drinking Sauvignon Blanc is like drinking a basket of ripe summer fruit, what better way to cool down this summer!
Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape variety that originated in France. Though it is most often associated with the Loire Valley due to its vital role in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, it is believed to have originated in the Bordeaux region where it is often blended with Semillon, moreover, the depth of its richness is showcased in Sauternes. It is a relatively versatile and vigorous vine that adapts well to different growing conditions. It tends to ripen early, making it a cool climate loving grape (such as the Loire Valley); however, because it also has naturally high acidity making it adaptable to warmer climates such as South Africa and Chile.
One of the key aspects of Sauvignon Blanc is the flavors are never hidden. In fact, upon opening a cold bottle the flavors leap out and envelope the nose. Furthermore, the aromas tend to be easy to decipher. Typical Sauvignon Blanc aromas include grassy and herbal notes (most prominent in cooler climates), citrus notes often leaning heavily on grapefruit, lime and lemon zest, gooseberry, stone fruit, green apple, tropical fruits such as passion fruit and kiwi, elderflower, and depending on its origin can have flint and pencil lead. It can have a creamy texture, though unlikely, most have no oak flavors because the style sought is dominate by refreshing fruitiness; additionally it does not typically benefit from bottle aging because the crisp acidity is stylistically preferred.
Sauvignon Blanc is also a versatile food friendly wine. Do not hesitate to pair it with poultry, pork, all seafood and shell fish, quiche, salads, sushi, veggie burgers, lots of green herbs including dill, basil, mint, thyme, chives and spices such as saffron and fennel, it is great with all goat’s milk cheeses, and lots of green vegetables, especially asparagus, finally pair with yogurt sauces, hummus and spinach lasagna.
Here are a few Sauvignon Blanc wines to help you cool down this summer:
2016 Invivo Sauvignon Blanc Malrborough New Zealand ($14): pale lemon with green hues; pronounced aromas of fresh ripe citrus, stone fruit, grapefruit, tropical fruit, soft grassy notes, white floral notes; quintessential Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, lively on the palate with loads of grapefruit and grassy notes, medium acidity, racy and refreshing.
2016 Concha Y Toro Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley Chile ($23): pale lemon; medium+ aromas of white floral notes, gooseberry, white stone fruit, citrus, green pepper, grassy notes; medium+ acidity that creates a pucker on the palate in a long finish, crisp and refreshing.
2015 Valdivieso Sauvignon Blanc Gran Reserva Leyda Valley Chile ($17): pale lemon; pronounced aromas of white floral notes, grapefruit, white stone fruit, tropical fruit, and green herbal notes; lots of green herbaceous notes on the palate with high acidity for a thirst quenching, mouth-watering, refreshing wine.
2016 Rombauer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley USA ($25): pale lemon with green hues; pronounced aromas of grapefruit, passion fruit, lemon zest, white stone fruit, and white floral notes; grassy notes enter the palate with a tart lime zest on the finish, racy with high acidity, mouth-coating, refreshing.
2016 Ventisquero Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley Chile ($15): pale lemon; medium aromas of white flowers, grassy notes, white stone fruit, and citrus zest; tart lime zest and grapefruit wrap the palate with medium+ acidity in a refreshing and zesty wine.
2015 Hanna Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley USA ($17): medium- lemon with gold hues; medium aromas of white flowers, lime zest, grapefruit, white stone fruit, passion fruit, soft grassy notes; rich texture with loads of green herbal notes on the palate, medium acidity, refreshing and elegant.