Sancerre les Perrieres 2013 Andre Vatan
(£16.25, Yapp Brothers, www.yapp.co.uk)
Sancerre in the Upper Loire is home to the world’s most distinctive sauvignon blanc with its grassy, flinty styles. This has elderflower and cut grass aromas and a racy palate.
Pouilly Fume 2012 Domaine de la Loge
(£16.99, Raeburn Wines, Edinburgh)
Neighbour to Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé is lower lying with a mix of soil types. This example has a delicious creamy texture alongside its fabulous minerally streak. Domaine de la Loge is run by David Millet – who grows vines across 19 hectares near Soumard, St Andelain. He makes five different Pouilly Fumés.
Chateau Doisy Daene Sec 2012
(£17.50, The Wine Society, www.thewinesociety.com)
An unusual place to find top quality sauvignon blanc, Barsac is better known for its sweet wines. Barsac, south of the city of Bordeaux, has red sands and red clay over limestone which give wonderful texture to the wines. This beautifully made example hails from the Denis Dubourdieu stable, a leading producer with 135 hectares across various appellations.
MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2014
(£16-£20, The Wine Society; Luvians; WoodWinters; Majestic Wine)
If you are looking for the pinnacle of achievement with sauvignon blanc anywhere in the world, you should head to the Greywacke label. Kevin Judd worked as Cloudy Bay’s senior winemaker for many years, before he established himself on his own. He has a fantastic knack of sourcing the best grapes and styling his sauvignon blancs into the juiciest, zestiest examples you will ever taste. STAR BUY
Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2014
(£13.50, Majestic Wine)
The Sutherland family make a range of enchanting wines from their base in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough. Ivan Sutherland tended Cloudy Bay’s vineyards for years, before setting up his own label, Dog Point. Son Matt now makes the wines. This is a very focused, pure example of Kiwi sauvignon blanc.
Mudhouse Woodshed Sauvignon Blanc 2014
(£15, Majestic Wine; Tesco)
The story of Mudhouse is an intriguing one. The owner used to be a pea farmer in Essex. He sold up to sail around the world and ended up at Picton near Marlborough. He fell in love with the area, sold his boat, bought land and planted grapes. Several decades on, it is now a top ranking estate producing classic, pungent sauvignon blanc.
WAIHEKE, NEW ZEALAND
Gravestone Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2012
This wine gets its name from the mist and fog which sweeps across the vineyard, making it look like a graveyard in winter. Made by Scot Duncan MacTavish of Man o War vineyard on an island off Auckland harbour, he blends in 30 per cent oaked semillon to round out the palate: lovely freshness with lime, honey and honeysuckle undertones.
ELGIN, SOUTH AFRICA
Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 2013
(£12, Marks & Spencer)
The old apple growing orchards of Elgin, on a high plateau east of Cape Town with ferricrete iron rich soils, are home to the most distinct and elegant sauvignon blanc in South Africa. Minerally, grippy, unoaked – a charming, approachable dry white.
LEYDA VALLEY, CHILE
Secano Paico Vineyard Block 3 Sauvignon Blanc 2013
(£9, Marks & Spencer)
Leyda Valley is the source of Chile’s sleekest and most interesting sauvignon blancs. Once dry farmland, a pipeline now pumps water here from the Maipo river. Viviana Navarrete makes this very appealing quaffable unoaked example.
Montes Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2013
I am a great admirer of Aurelio Montes’ winery, which consistently produces well-made examples of its varietals. With lovely floral notes, this is a crisp, dry benchmark Chilean sauvignon blanc.
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