How to enjoy the Aussie Sauvignon Blanc
May 7 is International Sauvignon Blanc Day - so let’s get down to the differences in the Wine Brothers' Sauv-Blanc range.
First, Sauvignon Blanc...what is it?
Each of our Sauv Blancs showcase this grape variety through many astyle; from the complex and savoury texture of Yarra Valley, to the herbaceousness and high acidity of Adelaide Hills.
Aussie Small batch producers have been overwhelmed in the past few years from a New Zealand “Savalanche”. Tonnes of crispy, yet spicy, NZ styled Sauv Blanc have reached Aussie shores and are more often than not the go-to by the glass wine in restaurants and bars. As a result, Australian winemakers of this classic grape have adapted and refined their handling of this grape, traditionally found in the Loire Valley of France.
Loire Valley Styles can vary greatly, and often take a fuller-bodied, oak-aged quality. From appellations like Pouilly Fume, the tasting note of ‘smokiness, even comes through from extended aging on lees(expired yeast cells). New Zealand, however, is much more homogenous in style with a crisp citrus based wine, with some spiciness. Homogeneity isn’t a bad thing when it’s done right, and that’s why the country is known for this grape globally.
Aussie’s taking the lead!
Aussie winemakers have never stuck to the one formula. So, Sauvignon Blanc comes in a range of styles, combinations of the classics and reiterations of these classics...
Sauvignon Blanc. Sticks, Yarra Valley, VIC.
The first cab off the rank is Yarra Valley’s ‘Sticks’ Sauvignon Blanc. This is an absolute bargain because the winemaking is hands-on and complex. A traditional racking of the grape must, followed by 5% of the juice being fermented in barrel gives texture and body to the wine, whilst ageing on lees for 5 months has a slight yoghurt taste on the palate. All these extras to the winemaking process adds cost, and a wine of similar style from the old world is easily double the price. This cool climate, beautifully flavoured white gets a big tick of approval. Guava, citrus flavours and a slight cream on the palate means this wine goes great with soft cheeses and fruits.
Sauvignon Blanc. The Spectacle, Adelaide Hills, SA.
At the other end of the spectrum is Spectacle’s Sauvignon Blanc. A completely different style and you can have quite a tidy comparative wine tasting at home! From the Adelaide Hills, picked slightly early to give a herbaceous green bell pepper quality this wine is similar to the New Zealand style - crisp, refreshing, sometimes even bracing. If this is sitting in the fridge, let it warm slightly before tasting - because the volatile aromas will open up more if the wine isn’t ice-cold.
A full taste of Fresh Cut Grass. Yep.
‘Freshly Cut Grass’ is a common tasting note with Sauv Blanc, which is - after all - a highly aromatic grape. That's why we can talk about so many different styles and flavours! Mike Press’s take on the grape is all about freshly cut grass, kiwis and citrus. Of all the wines, this is the best with food because of the complexity, especially Thai cooking with liberal use of banana leaf and lemongrass. On the balcony, with some take out. And at 13.7% it is bone dry - don’t forget, fruity and sweet are totally different things, and this is by no means sweet but very flavoursome and fruity.
Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
'Ivory' Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. Deep Woods Estate, Margaret River, WA.
Finally - the classic white Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from Deep Woods Estate. The 'Ivory’ Semillon Sauvignon Blanc has been a crowd favorite for a long time, and Margaret River’s reputation for premium wine’s is on show with this one. Made in the classic white Bordeaux style, this blend has acid, depth, a slight bees-wax taste and above all else - complexity, as the wine aerates and opens up. The green bell pepper (methoxypyrazines, if you’re chemistry inclined) are bold at the start then begin to fade away as the rounder, floral aromas of the Semillon grape take hold. This is a bottle of flavour and complexity - to be enjoyed by itself, or with some grilled seafood. Complex, and very highly rated by critics at home and abroad.