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#Sauvignon blanc - the craziest grape variety in the world?

18 December 2015, by Sebastian Nickel

I admit, the question seems somewhat exaggerated. There are other varieties at least equallyworthy of the title: Shavkapito from Georgia, Grüner Veltliner from Austria, Folle noir from Fronton ...

Sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon blanc (by the way Cabernet Sauvignon’s mother, after a volatile affair with Cabernet franc) has long been planted in the Loire and in the region of Bordeaux. Meanwhile, the SavBlanc also does very well in various IGPs, formerly called “Vin de Pays” in France. You may say that SANCERRE is its highest decorated Ambassador, and SAINT BRIS in Burgundy its best kept secret. New Zealand has given a certain “HYPE” to the variety, and it remains the Sauvignon-Star in the Southern Hemisphere without discussion. For the rest, the grape has settled down in all wine-growing regions which hold something up, and has almost become a brand on its own.

Perverted to swank wine

Mostly fresh and crispy on the palate, the perfume of Sauvignon is often described with words like “broom, boxwood, grapefruit, passion fruit or smoke and flint.” In many cases, people may refer to “cat pee“which could be translated as”the crude version of broom, boxwood, grapefruit, passion fruit or smoke and flint“. An aromatic grape variety does a lot of screeming in the glass and selfsufficiently asks”did you see my muscles?" A behaviour that’s somehow difficult to bring in accordance with “elegance” and “sophistication”. By the way, this applies to the same extent for Muscat and Gewurztraminer.

Sauvignon blanc

But now I love him!

But don’t worry! The good, generous, tasty and great Sauvignon Blanc exists! Often embarrassed by his intrusive bouquet, I had to learn to enjoy it. For this, I have confronted my nose an palate without hesitation to Sauvignon blanc wherever I could find a bottle: Pays d’Oc Sauvignon, Sauvignon from Germany and New Zealand, produced in South Africa and Italy, on the Loire or in Burgundy, in the Spanish Penedes or in the French Entre-Deux-Mers… I have (almost) tried them all, to finally arrive at the following conclusion: If as a grape variety you show such aromatic force without fear of being absurd, you actually are a bit crazy. But, if Sauvignon b. is grown in the right place and crafted by the right hands, it really is a great variety.

Jean-Louis Bersan, vigneron in Saint Bris, once told me the following: “Finding finesse and elegance in a wine made from such an aromatic grape variety, is the proof that it’s basically about much more than just an aromatic grape variety...”



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