Originally from Western France, Sauvignon Blanc is now grown and established in many of the world’s wine regions with varying degrees of success. Some of France’s finest Sauvignon vines can be found in Bordeaux’s famous appellations of Graves, Pessac-Léognan and the twin, Loire appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. However, and more recently, the most popular examples come from the New World and enjoy new found fame in New Zealand and Western Australia amongst others.

Many New World Sauvignon Blancs are fermented at low temperatures to preserve as much of its youthful fruit as possible. The use of oak is kept to a minimum with producers opting for the use of stainless steel or in some cases concrete casks, however some key producers are now working with specific, concentrated, low yielding blocks, which cannot only withstand the judicious use of oak, but it makes the wine much more complex and allows it to develop incredible textures we would not associate with Sauvignon Blancin the norm.

Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Semillon – a blend frequently found in the New World these days, but still chiefly associated with the Old Continent. Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris can also play a part, with the latter grape being the ‘magic’ ingredient at the famed Château Smith Haut Lafitte.

The flavour profile is varied, from asparagus, gooseberry, nettles, pea shoots, mint and passionfruit to gunflint and minerals…

Can Sauvignon Blanc age? In short, most are produced for early consumption and bottle age will simply do little for the wine; however there are key producers who specially create a dry Sauvignon Blanc, which can last many decades and in some cases, needs this time for the wine to emerge from its shell. 

We have gathered a stunning and varied collection which covers the diversity of this superb grape variety and we asked Stu to choose his favourite two wines.

 

97 Points - Stuart McCloskey

"By far, one of my all-time favourite Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs simply as this wine ‘stylistically’ as no equal. The fruit is hand picked from Matthews Lane vineyard ensuring each parcel of fruit is in perfect condition. The juice rests on yeast lees for 11 months in new 1,000 litre German oak fuder barrels, which adds an extraordinary level of complexity. The enormous size of the fuder translates to less wine contact with the barrel surface compared to smaller, more commonly used barrels. In addition, the fuder staves are thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer resulting in the fruit characters gaining greater depth and complexity.

Immensely appealing from the start with ripe intense tropical and stone fruit flavours, honeysuckle, caramelised citrus. There’s an astonishing combination of super-ripeness and verve. The acidity is perfectly judged and for those readers worrying about the whopping oak barrels – Fear not as the oak is far from obvious which indicates the quality and concentration of the fruit. To put in the most banal of terms – This is a magical bottle of Sauvignon Blanc!"

£35.00 per bottle

 

97 Points - Stuart McCloskey

"Dog Point’s Section 94 has always been a favourite of mine and can, in correct cellaring conditions, mature wonderfully over a decade. This is another example of a medium to full-bodied, textural style of Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for Section 94 come from a single, low cropping vineyard parcel first planted in 1992. The fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Every vintage has a funky edge which you either love or not. Those seeking simplistic Kiwi fruit pops should avoid at all costs as this is a serious, large scale wine that deserves a little respect. The aromas are taut, tightly wound with the ‘funk’ reducing with 20/30 minutes in a decanter (highly recommended). Tropical no - Yellow stone fruits in abundance with a vein of minerality appearing mid-palate. There’s a real intensity which is exceptional and rarely found with the majority of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The finish is endless… In short, brilliant!"

£21.00 per bottle

 

Simply Sauvignon

Our delicious New World Sauvignon Blanc mixed case

1 x Dog Point Section 94 2015 Sauvignon Blanc - NEW
17 Points - Jancis Robinson

1 x Dog Point 2017 Sauvignon Blanc - NEW
94 Points - Bob Campbell

1 x Blank Canvas 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
17 Points - Julia Harding MW

1 x Flowstone 2015 Sauvignon Blanc
95 Points - James Halliday

1 x Auntsfield Single Vineyard 2017 Sauvignon Blanc  
94 Points - Wine Orbit

1 x Vidal Reserve 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
93 Points - Bob Campbell

£100.60 per mixed case

 

Australia

 

Watershed Senses
Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Available from week beginning
7th May 2018

95 Points – James Halliday

Half fermented in French oak, half in stainless steel. The oak is evident on the bouquet, but the tsunami of intense fruit on the palate sweeps all else away; opens with snow pea and lemon, then moves into passionfruit, finishing with crystalline acidity.

£17.95 per bottle

Watershed Senses
Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Available from week beginning
7th May 2018

Campbell Mattinson (Wine Companion)

Excellent intensity. Lemongrass and ripe stone fruit flavours meet gravel and sweat. Super fresh and lively. Textural finish.

£17.95 per bottle

 

Watershed Shades Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017

Available from week beginning
7th May 2018

Silver Medal – 2017 Wine Show of Western Australia

The blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon is one of the classic Margaret River wine styles. The Sauvignon Blanc in this wine displays tropical fruit and citrus aromas which are complemented by the grassy nuances of Semillon. On the palate, the wine is fresh and vibrant showing passion fruit characters with a lingering crisp finish.

£14.50 per bottle

Yarra Yering Dry White
No 1 2014

95 Points - James Halliday

No mlf. A semillon-based white Bordeaux style. While already very complex, toasty and full-bodied, its acidity (left intact by the exclusion of mlf) slices through the palate like King Arthur's sword, and giving the illusion of green lemon and herb/green capsicum flavours. Will be fascinating to watch its development.

£30.50 per bottle

 

Suckfizzle Sauvignon
Semillon 2009

96 Points - James Halliday

A 60/40% blend barrel-fermented and matured in French oak (50% new) for 3 months. At the top end of Margaret River white Bordeaux blends, it has a compelling palate of finesse and richness of flavour, all the components seamlessly fused, with grapefruit, peach and fig caressed by high quality oak.

£27.50 per bottle

Flowstone Sauvignon
Blanc 2015

95 Points - James Halliday 

Ripe nectarines, guava, some flinty highlights, with a lime-zest finish. The palate has wonderful textures, while retaining a juiciness of fruit and lightness. There is great intensity of fruit and fantastic length of flavour.

£20.95 per bottle
OR BUY A CASE & SAVE UP TO £24.00

 

Flowstone is the creation of Stuart Pym who has enjoyed a long and illustrious wine career spanning some 30 years – he also founded Suckfizzle in 1996 and then Stella Bella in 1999. Stuart is a perfectionist and his attention to detail is quite extraordinary, resulting in perhaps the best wine(s) made in Margaret River today. Accolades have come in thick and fast including the prodigious winner of James Halliday’s Best New Winery, 2015 and of course, receiving 97 points for his 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, which is the highest score achieved for this varietal.

These are the essence of textural Sauvignon Blanc with great depth and a capturing intensity. Requiring time to fully unveil their complexities, we amassed a collection of vintages dating back to 2011.

Flowstone Museum Vertical - Sauvignon Blanc

All scores by James Halliday

1 x 2015  95 Points
1 x 2014  97 Points
1 x 2013  96 Points
1 x 2012  97 Points
1 x 2011  97 Points

£120.95 per case

 

New Zealand

 

Dog Point
Sauvignon Blanc 2017

94 Points – Bob Campbell

Bright, fresh and reasonably concentrated sauvignon blanc with capsicum, lemongrass, gooseberry, wet stone, mineral and subtle tropical fruit flavours. Impressive purity and length, this high energy wine could develop well in bottle.

£15.25 per bottle

Dog Point Section 94 2015

17 Points – Jancis Robinson 

Smell as though there is some light oak influence here. Dense and thrilling. This is a wine to convert me to Marlborough Sauvignon! Much more concentrated than the regular 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. Tense and rich at the same time but not particularly mineral. Reminds me a bit of PHI in the Yarra Valley. Impressively long.

£21.00 per bottle

 

Auntsfield Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017

94 Points - WINE ORBIT

From their estate vineyard in the Southern Valleys, the wine offers fabulous fruit intensity as well as silky mouthfeel. The beautifully lifted bouquet shows lemon peel, feijoa, passionfruit and lime zest aromas, followed by a concentrated palate that is focused and linear. The wine delivers wonderful vibrancy and bright acidity, leading to a superbly long, fine finish. A stylish rendition filled with attractive flavours. At its best: now to 2020. (Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017). 

£12.95 per bottle

Auntsfield Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Magnum

Those eagle eyed Decanter readers may have spotted the unprecedented score for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (August 2017 Edition).

The Marlborough producer, Auntsfield has been awarded a colossal 98 points for their 2016 single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, the same score awarded by Decanter for the 2016 Bordeaux En-Primeur’s – Chateaux Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Lalande & Figeac...

£29.50 per magnum

 

Blank Canvas
Sauvignon Blanc 2017

17 Points - Julia Harding MW (JancisRobinson.com)

On the nose this has both the freshness of capsicum and the sweetness of green figs, neither under- nor over-ripe, as well as a light saltiness and a hint of passionfruit. On the palate it is mercifully dry with really good intensity and focus in a difficult vintage. It has both fruit weight and freshness and persistence and a long stony finish. Mouth-wateringly pure. 

£16.95 per bottle

Vidal Reserve
Sauvignon Blanc 2016

93 Points - Bob Campbell 

Pungent, flavoursome sauvignon blanc with classic passionfruit, capsicum, pink grapefruit and citrus flavours. A good example of the Marlborough style, with appealing punchy varietal character.

£13.50 per magnum

 

France

 

Domaine Dagueneau Pouilly Fumé Blanc Fumé de Pouilly 2014

Blanc Fumé de Pouilly is produced from Dagueneau's holdings of younger vines. Fermented in oak then transferred into old oak and stainless steel to maintain the freshness of the wine, this is always Dagueneau's most early-drinking, direct and pure expression of Pouilly Fumé.

£58.95 per bottle

Château de Fieuzal Blanc 2013

94-96 Points - Robert Parker

Possibly the greatest Fieuzal since the legendary 1985, the 2013 boasts a light straw color with a greenish hue as well as a stunning perfume of tangerine oil, orange marmalade, citrus and honeysuckle. Surprisingly full, rich, exuberant and borderline flamboyant, this is a stunning white Graves to consume over the next 20+ years.

£37.95 per bottle

 

Château Blanc de Doisy Daene 2014

The Doisy-Daëne Blanc Sec 2014 has a pleasant, refined bouquet with scents of green apple intermingling with lime and granitic scents. The palate is taut and fresh with a sharpline of acidity and a penetrating malic finish that leaves the palate feeling totally refreshed and asking for more. Very fine.

£18.50 per bottle

Clos des Lunes Lune
d'Argent 2015

Neal Martin

It has quite a forward, rich, generous bouquet with subtle honeysuckle and apricot notes merging with the apply aromas. The palate is fresh and crisp on the entry, a little grassiness at first, gently opening up to a gooseberry, nettle and green apple-flavored finish. This might be my pick of Olivier Bernard's three 2015 offerings under the Clos des Lunes label and it comes highly recommended.

£16.50 per bottle

 

Domaine de Chevalier
Blanc 2012

94-96 Points - Neal Martin

The Domaine de Chevalier Blanc has a reserved, stony nose that you have to be patient with – give it a few minutes and there are some subtle undergrowth scents that begin to emerge, hints of orange blossom and dried apricot. The palate is well balanced with a delicate touch of spice on the entry. This is very focused with good weight and it displays wonderful tension on the finish that offers a Burgundy-like texture. Wonderful.

£87.50 per bottle

Château Carbonnieux
Blanc 2012

91-93 Points - Neal Martin

The Carbonnieux Blanc has a well defined bouquet with lovely scents of lime flower and orange blossom that is very well defined – more complex than recent vintages. Hints of custard cream emerge with aeration. The palate is well balanced with a pleasant fatness in the mouth. This is certainly a concentrated Carbonnieux and although I would have liked a little more acid bite on the finish, this is certainly one of the best white wines from the estate in recent years.

£30.95 per bottle

 

Château Carmes de Rieussec 2011 Half

90 Points - Stuart McCloskey

Stylish Sauternes from an outstanding vintage. At perfect maturity and awaiting the company of Stilton or Roquefort.

£18.75 per half bottle

Chateau Doisy Vedrines
2014 Half

95 points - Neal Martin

The 2014 Doisy-Vedrines has a tightly knit, backward bouquet that demands much more encouragement than its peers. The palate is well balanced with a viscous texture, extremely well judged acidity, poised with a beautiful quince and marmalade-tinged finish that lingers in the mouth. Superb. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.

£15.95 per bottle

 

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Saturday 5 May

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The Vinorium, Ashmill House,
Ashmill Business Park, Ashford Road, Lenham, ME17 2GQ,
Tel: 01622 859161