Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is the second most popular grape ordered in restaurants, and certainly has its loyal following. It hails from the Bordeaux region of France, but has made its name from the wines of Sancerre in the Loire Valley. It has found a second home in Napa Valley, as well as many other new world wine regions.

Sauvignon Blanc

Styles of Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is made in a number of different styles, but the fresh and higher acidity offerings of Sancerre in the Loire Valley is the benchmark of the grape. New Zealand has its own style of the Sauvignon Blanc grape, as it shows a lighter body and more herbaceous tones. Its unique blend of high acidity, grassy aromas and immense freshness make the wine unique, falling into the "light, bright and white" stylistic category.
As it is grown in warmer climates, the grape can lose its “grassy” edge and take on more tropical aromas and flavors like examples from northern California. The region of Bordeaux, the home of the grape, often blends their Sauvignon with Semillon and treats it with oak, giving it a creamy finish similar to Chardonnay and more body in the glass.

Sauvignon Blanc

Geography
The Bordeaux region of France, along with the Loire Valley, are where you will find the majority of the Sauvignon Blanc in that country. In the U.S., the Napa Valley is the most prominent area for the grape. The warmer growing region produces a fuller, more fruit forward offering. New Zealand has hung its hat on this grape variety, and the South Island has a vast number of plantings and producers of this wine, with the Marlborough region being most prominent. It can also be found in various parts of South America, as both Chile and Argentina have a large amount of acreage dedicated to the grape.

Sauvignon Blanc

Selling Sauvignon Blanc
The climate that the sauvignon grape grows in ultimately dictates the style the wine offers, and knowing a little geography can go a long way. This grape can be lean and light, as you find in New Zealand and Northern France, or can be fuller on the palate, as in Bordeaux or Napa Valley. Asking the questions of your guest to get to the correct recommendation is important here, as there is a wide array of styles to this grape. If they ask for Sancerre, they are looking for the lighter, leaner style. If they enjoy New Zealand, then try to get them something from there as that style is certainly unique. Since sauvignon blanc from Napa Valley can be produced in a wide array of styles, knowing a bit about your producer and exact offering is helpful. The Bordeaux region often has oak and is blended with Semillon, so introducing that information is important to your guest.

Sauvignon Blanc

Advanced Principles
The white wines of Bordeaux, often produced by some of the most storied Château of the Medoc, can command steep prices and are capable of aging gracefully. However, most Sauvignon Blanc is meant to be consumer young and fresh, with calls for the Sancerre or New Zealand style being the most sought after in the restaurant environment. When walking through the Sauvignon Blanc based wines most often seen on wine lists, bottles hailing from Sancerre in the north of France will have a lighter and more earthier flavor profile. Cooler climates deliver wine with higher acidity and Sancerre is no different, with freshness being the order of the day. The warmer the weather, the more fruit flavor the wine will have, with Sauvignon exhibiting this profoundly well. Describing this correlation between warmer growing areas and the wines finished style is important when taking your guest through the wine list.

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Advanced Principles
The white wines of Bordeaux, often produced by some of the most storied Château of the Medoc, can command steep prices and are capable of aging gracefully. However, most Sauvignon Blanc is meant to be consumer young and fresh, with calls for the Sancerre or New Zealand style being the most sought after in the restaurant environment. When walking through the Sauvignon Blanc based wines most often seen on wine lists, bottles hailing from Sancerre in the north of France will have a lighter and more earthier flavor profile. Cooler climates deliver wine with higher acidity and Sancerre is no different, with freshness being the order of the day. The warmer the weather, the more fruit flavor the wine will have, with Sauvignon exhibiting this profoundly well. Describing this correlation between warmer growing areas and the wines finished style is important when taking your guest through the wine list.