One of the most popular white wines in the world, Sam Wylie-Harris sets her sights on sauvignon blanc.
It’s a sensational time to be drinking sauvignon blanc. These crisp aromatic wines pair beautifully with seasonal shellfish (they’re a natural with oysters) and seafood, sweet and spicy Asian cuisine, not to mention herby green salads, vegetable dishes and goat’s cheese.
And with value and consistency one of sauvignon’s trademarks, alongside the variety of styles from around the world – most have a common thread of lemony, herbal, grassy notes, tropical gusto such as passion fruit and juicy acidity – is it any wonder these bright, punchy, ‘green’ wines are perfectly in tune with the last days of summer?
Before the anticipation of autumn flavours and turning of the leaves, here are seven reasons to pick this gorgeously aromatic, food-friendly grape…
1. Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc 2020, South Australia, £6, Sainsbury’s
Lively and juicy, this little gem is Australian through and through. With beams of passion fruit, lemon-lime, tropical and peach flavours, a satisfying herbal note and zesty, refreshing finish, it’s instantly uplifting and a steal at the price. One for Thai crab salad.
2. Bruce Jack Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Western Cape, South Africa, £7, Asda
With grassy aromas galore and showing well-judged gooseberry, lime peel, green apple notes, lemongrass with mouth-watering acidity and lime zest on the finish, this one is a winner with spicy food and mild chicken curries.
3. Tesco Finest South African Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Stellenbosch, South Africa, £7.50, Tesco
Intense and zesty with lots of grapefruit, gooseberry, cut-grass and nettles infused with lime and quince, this is a racy style of sauvignon with crisp, refreshing acidity that can run the gamut between spicy crab cakes, chicken pasta and garlic prawns. Uplifting and lots of fun.
4. M&S Classics Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Casablanca Valley, Chile, £8, Marks & Spencer stores
A charming example from Chile that’s vivid and ripe. Appealing aromatics of lime and passionfruit lead to more delightful passionfruit, melon and nectarine flavours, with a tangy, fresh finish, elegant structure and long finish. Think classic ceviche… delicious.
5. Abbesse Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Vin de France, France, £10.49, Laithwaite’s
Sauvignon blanc devotees will relish the lemony freshness here aligned with a ripe mix of gooseberry, melon and passion fruit, underpinned by herbaceous notes and touch of lime zest on the finish. Fragrant and very refreshing with a persistent finish, try it with a seafood platter or warm goat’s cheese salad.
6. The Gooseberry Bush Sauvignon Blanc Limited Edition 2021, Western Cape, South Africa, £11.99, Laithwaite’s
Exhibiting lots of fresh green shoots, as the label suggests, here we have ripe gooseberry and freshly cut grass that leaps from the glass, with crisp green apple notes, hints of key lime and juicy acidity. A snappy sauvignon that’s distinctive and beautifully balanced.
7.Pyramid Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019, North Canterbury, New Zealand, £18.99, Waitrose
Marlborough may have put New Zealand sauvignon blanc on the map but this succulent, vibrant white from South Island’s Waipara Valley tastes wonderfully pure and is worth seeking out. A fabulously, fruity fragrant affair with bright, fleshy tropical fruits, think ripe melon and passion fruit with subtle herbal touches, grassy highlights, balanced acidity and long, rounded finish. Exceptionally good.
Subscribe to The Herald and don’t miss a single word from your favourite writers by clicking here