When it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, the first regions that come to mind for most wine enthusiasts are France’s Loire Valley and New Zealand’s Marlborough. However, South Africa is also producing some outstanding South African Sauvignon Blancs that are worth considering for your wine collection.
Sauvignon Blanc is a grape variety that can produce very different styles of wine depending on the region where it is grown. While New Zealand and Australia are known for their zesty, fruity Sauvignon Blancs, the Loire Valley in France and South Africa produce wines with a more nuanced and restrained character.
New Zealand has been a benchmark for Sauvignon Blanc since the 1980s, when winemakers in Marlborough started experimenting with this grape variety. Today, New Zealand is the second-largest Sauvignon Blanc producer in the world after France, and its wines are known for their distinctive, intense flavours and aromas. New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs typically features notes of passionfruit, gooseberry, and citrus, with a refreshing acidity and a long finish.
The Loire Valley in France is one of the most renowned regions for Sauvignon Blanc, and it is home to two of the most famous appellations for this grape variety: Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Loire Sauvignon Blanc is characterized by its crisp acidity, minerality, and subtle fruit flavours. Wine critics have praised Loire Sauvignon Blanc for its elegance and finesse, and many consider it a benchmark for the variety.
South African Sauvignon Blanc: A Hidden Gem
South Africa is not often mentioned in the same breath as France or New Zealand when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, but the country has been producing excellent world class examples of this grape variety for decades.
South African Sauvignon Blanc is often compared to Loire Sauvignon Blanc, as both styles share a similar restraint and subtlety. South African Sauvignon Blanc tends to be more herbaceous and savoury than Loire Sauvignon Blanc, with notes of green pepper, asparagus, and flint. The acidity is typically lower than in Loire Sauvignon Blanc, giving the wine a softer mouthfeel. However, South African Sauvignon Blanc can also have a great aging potential, developing more complex flavors and aromas over time.
As an Australian wine lover, you might be wondering why you should consider South African Sauvignon Blanc when you have access to some of the best wines from New Zealand, France and other regions. Here are our top 5 reasons why South African Sauvignon Blanc wine is a great addition to your wine options:
- Unique Flavour Profile: South African Sauvignon Blancs are known for their unique flavour profile that sets them apart from other Sauvignon Blancs around the world. They often exhibit complex notes of tropical fruits, citrus, and herbs, with a distinctive minerality and flinty character.
- Ageability: Sauvignon Blanc is typically known as a wine that is best consumed young, but the high-quality Sauvignon Blancs produced in South Africa are known to age well. With the right storage conditions, some of these wines can age for up to a decade or more, developing greater complexity and depth over time.
- Value for Money: South African Sauvignon Blancs offer excellent value for money. You can get a high-quality bottle of South African Sauvignon Blanc for a fraction of the price of a similar wine from other regions.
- Versatility: South African Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile wine that pairs well with a wide variety of foods, including seafood, chicken, salads, and cheeses. Its acidity and freshness also make it a great aperitif.
- Consistent Quality: South Africa has a long history of winemaking and has developed a reputation for producing high-quality wines. The country’s Sauvignon Blancs are no exception, and they consistently receive high scores and critical acclaim from wine critics and enthusiasts around the world. By investing in South African Sauvignon Blanc, you can be confident that you are getting a high-quality product that will only improve with age.
- Forbes magazine – written by Tom Hyland
- The Real Review – written by Bob Campbell
- Images credit Wine Enthusiasts and Sauvignon Blanc South Africa