Sauv Blancs Beyond New Zealand

While New Zealand may be most associated with Sauvignon Blanc, the world is full of other regions where the grape excels. France’s Sancerre region is known for producing racy, dry Sauvignon Blancs, typically with minerality. And then, there are Southern Hemisphere places like Chile and South Africa, where the grape boomed in
the 1980s.

What these regions all have in common is the ability to produce luscious Sauvignon Blancs with true varietal character — think high-acid wines with citrus and tropical fruit notes, and often hints of herbaceousness. Where these other regions differ from that iconic New Zealand style, however, is often in more muted grapefruit and gooseberry aromas.

Here are three wines that serve as a great introduction to other Sauvignon Blanc regions.

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​Viña Leyda Single Vineyard Garuma Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley, Chile

Bright, fruit-forward, and high in acid, this wine is full of floral notes and even a hint of brininess. Perhaps that’s thanks to the vineyard’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean. There’s a hint of salinity on the palate, as well, plus some herbal notes, fresh juicy citrus, a bit of lime and an echo of ripe grapefruit. The complexity of the fruit, minerality, and great acid makes for an exceptionally pleasing, easy-drinking Sauvignon Blanc. — $17 available online from Corx Wine & Liquors, White Plains

 

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Bayten 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

On the nose, this South African Sauvignon Blanc is full of nectarines and white peaches. There’s a hint of spiciness here, which turns into a lime-leaf note. On the palate, the wine is ripe with fruit, spicy, and high in acid. Yet that round fruit brings perfect balance to the wine, making it zippy yet easy to drink. —  $14.99 at Westchester Wine Warehouse

 

 

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Lucien Crochet, 2016 Sancerre, Sancerre, France

First comes a whiff of just-dried grass, followed by white peaches, yellow peaches, and some tropical notes on the nose. There’s a hint of minerality here, too, a sort of crushed-oyster-shell essence. On the palate, the wine is lean yet well fruited. There’s a hint of Meyer lemon, white peaches, and great minerality, as well as some floral notes and drying herbs. — $26.99 at Westchester Wine Warehouse

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