Sauvignon Blanc Worldwide: What’s the Difference?

Sauvignon Blanc is a grape that is grown almost everywhere in the world. And while the basic wine is almost always the same — unoaked, lots of acid, tropical fruit flavors — different regions spin this grape in different ways. Here’s a short and sweet look at world Sauvignon Blancs.

2010 Justin Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles – Crisp apple notes in keeping with California Sauvignon Blanc’s traditional profile, with a steely, lightly mineral finish. Touch of pineapple and even coconut on the finish, too. Not a terrible amount of excitement or character here, but perfectly acceptable in a drink-it-with-Chinese-food sort of way. B / $15

2011 Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough – Instantly New Zealand, the nose and palate are both chock full of pineapple and mango flavors, exotic tropical notes that are only hinted at in the California rendition of the grape. For many, NZ Sauvignon Blanc is off-putting because these characteristics are overwhelming to the point of being dessert-like. In this wine, you can see what they’re getting at. B- / $16

2011 Casa Silva Sauvignon Blanc Riserva Colchagua Valley – Turning to Chile, we see Sauvignon Blanc in a more restrained style. More melon on the nose, but the fruit is in the body. Milder pineapple, and some figs, too. Lots of acidity make this a crisp gulper, but do it a favor and let it warm up a bit to bring out the fruit. B+ / $12


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