June 21: You’re soaking in it. National Sauvignon Blanc Day is here, along with its own Twitter hashtag: #SauvBlanc. But Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t have to mean California. Our friends at Pasternak Wine Imports sent us six Sauv Blancs from all over the world to show us — and you — just how wildly versatile and incredibly affordable wines made with this grape can be. Enjoy!
2010 Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Marlborough – Welcome to the tropics! This New Zealand wine exudes pineapple and mango, its lively fruit making a perfect summer sipper. Fresh and exotic, with mild acidity, and not overdone like so many NZ wines can be. A- / $13
2011 Saget La Perriere La Petite Perriere Sauvignon Blanc – French wines are more and more putting the grape varietal on the label in order to appeal to foreign markets. This Loire Valley wine is more restrained on the fruit front, offering more of an apple and very light peach character, with a touch of earth on the finish. Better with food. B+ / $11
2011 Domaines Barons de Rothschild Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca – Chile’s rendition of this grape is more mineral in nature, fresh apple and lemon notes up front, with slate and stone character driving an earthier, steely finish. A touch bitter as it fades. B / $10
2011 Barons de Rothschild Bordeaux Blanc Reserve Speciale – A white Bordeaux that is actually 60% Semillon and only 40% Sauvignon Blanc, as you can imagine it cuts a considerably different picture. Mild, lightly lemony, and very pale in color, this simple wine offers mild floral aromatics and a lightly astringent finish. B- / $12
2009 Morro Bay Split Oak Estates Sauvignon Blanc “Sur Lie” California – Burly Sauvignon Blanc from Acampo, California (near Stockton), this wine packs an intensity that comes as a shock when compared to the other wines in this roundup. Big caramel notes overpower the fruit, giving a sort of caramel apple character. Chewy and assertive, this is a perfect fit for the cheese course, or dessert. A- / $12
2010 Jaja Le Jaja de Jau Sauvignon Blanc Cotes de Gascogne – We rarely see wines from the south-west of France in Gascony here in the U.S., but in France they slurp these down like nobody’s business. Amazingly different flavors here, including intense herbs, licorice, fennel, and — as best as I can describe it — a fresh green salad. B / $9