PLACE OF ORIGIN
Blanc Fumé (Pouilly)
Fumé Blanc (California)
Savagnin x ?
IN THE VINEYARD
Early to Mid Ripening
Photo Courtesy of Wine Grapes Direct
OLD WORLD SAUVIGNON BLANC WINES
Old World wines are typically labeled by location rather than by the grape variety. The following regions are known for Sauvignon Blanc.
Sancerre, a region in the Loire Valley, along with Pouilly-Fumé are known for unoaked, crisp, mouthwatering, and refreshing styles of 100% Sauvignon Blanc.
White Bordeaux is commonly a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Styles labeled Bordeaux AOC and Entre-Deux-Mers are light and crisp where as styles from Graves and Pessac Léognan are typically oak aged and complex.
SAUVIGNON BLANC STYLES
Sauvignon Blanc is an aromatic white grape variety that is commonly produced in two different styles, oaked and unoaked. This grape variety is susceptible to noble rot and can also make luscious dessert wines. See below for a breakdown of the grape variety by climate.
Dessert wines from Sauvignon Blanc are commonly produced in Napa Valley, California and Sauternes, Bordeaux when vintages allow for the growth of noble rot. This concentrates the acids and sugars and imparts flavors of chamomile, ginger, honey, marmalade, and saffron. Wines are typically blends including Semillon and Muscadelle, however, single varietal bottlings are produced.
Sauvignon Blanc grown in a cool climate typically exhibit these characteristics:
Low to Moderate
Sauvignon Blanc grown in a moderate climate typically exhibit these characteristics:
Moderate to Full
COMMON WINEMAKING TECHNIQUES (A-Z)
NEW OAK CONTACT:
Often in the form of a barrel, however, oak chips may be used to recreate the effect of using barrels in a fraction of the time and cost. This contact can occur during fermentation and/or aging. The higher the char on the oak, the more flavor imparted into the wine. These flavors often consist of smoke, vanilla, baking spices, butterscotch, roasted nuts, and more.
Commonly known as "malo", this process converts tart, malic acid into round, lactic acid by way of a bacteria known as oenococcus oeni. This bacterial conversion occurs after alcoholic fermentation and adds secondary flavors to the wine such as butter, cream, yogurt, and other dairy notes. Along with flavors the process creates a round, creamy texture in the final wine.
Also known as "lees stirring", this process utilizes the yeast used for fermentation to add body, texture, and secondary flavors to the final wine. Once the yeast has finalized fermentation, the cells begin to break down in a process known as autolysis. To increase contact with wine, the broken down yeast cells (lees), are often stirred with a wand to impart more body and flavors of biscuits, bread, and more.
Common in warm climates to create a more balanced wine. This is conducted by adding acid (typically tartaric or malic acid) during winemaking to lower the pH of the wine, creating a final wine with higher acidity. This is a controversial technique that is prohibited in many regions.
IMPORTANT SAUVIGNON BLANC CLONES (A-Z)
An aromatic clone originating from and widely planted in Bordeaux.
French origin. Also known as FPS 20.
French origin. Also known as FPS 31.
Smaller clusters and low yielding. Considered widely popular for plantings in France. Originated from Bordeaux. Also known as FPS 14.
A floral and musky aromatic clone with less vegetal notes. Sourced from the Viticoles d’Arboriculture Fruitiere, a viticulture station at Pont-de-la-Maye in the Bordeaux region of France in 1962. Was thought to be its own grape variety for until 1999 after a study conducted by Dr. Carole Meredith at UC Davis determining it was a clone. Also known as FPS 27
Larger clusters and high yielding. Originally planted in a Wente Vineyard in Livermore in 1884 with cuttings from Chateau d'Yquem. Widely planted throughout California. Also known as FPS 01