Everything you need to know about Sauvignon

Originally from Bordeaux, Sauvignon , or Sauvignon Blanc , is reputed to be one of the best French grape varieties for white wine . It is a white grape variety, not to be confused with Sauvignon gris and its pale yellow color, or even with Cabernet Sauvignon which gives red wines. Particularly famous thanks to Sancerre , Sauvignon Blanc is grown as far away as New Zealand, where it produces great wines whose reputation is second to none.

Characteristics of Sauvignon

The expression of Sauvignon

Depending on the region where it is produced, a wine made from Sauvignon will tend to exhibit different aromas, ranging from white fruits and cassis, to notes of freshly cut grass, and gunflint. Some wines may also have notes of passion fruit.

In general, Sauvignon gives dry white wines . Nevertheless, some winemakers choose to produce sweet wines , which are often very fragrant. It is highly sought after for its freshness, structure and minerality. When drained before maturity, Sauvignon can have an unpleasant acidic aftertaste. Noble rot or late harvests will, on the contrary, make it possible to produce great sweet wines .

The characteristics of the Sauvignon plant

The Sauvignon grape cluster is compact, tapered and sometimes winged. This soaks up a lot of soil and climate, explaining the diversity of aromas that Sauvignon generates. The grape of this variety is small with a thick skin. It is golden yellow when ripe.

Sauvignon gives high quality wines, however, it is a plant that is not very productive. This is why you will often find it blended with other, more robust or more productive grape varieties. This allows winegrowers to ensure a certain consistency in the quality and volume of the wine produced.

Sauvignon likes freshness and limestone, elements thanks to which it flourishes particularly well in the French Southwest or in New Zealand. It is one of the early ripening grape varieties. Finally, Sauvignon-based wine has good keeping potential . In general, you can keep it between 2 and 5 years. Some more clayey-siliceous soils allow the wine to be kept for up to 10 years.

Sauvignon, a worldwide success

In France…

Sauvignon is very present in the Bordeaux region, the Loire Valley, the Cher Valley, the Saint-Bris plateau, the Côtes-de-Duras, Languedoc and in Provence .

In Bordeaux, Sauvignon is often associated with Sémillon , whether to give dry or sweet wines.

To find out more about the Sémillion grape variety, come and discover the article on this subject by clicking here.

Sauvignon also ensures the excellent reputation of great wines from Sancerre, Pouilly-fumé and other Quincy . It is thus the basis of very famous dry white wines , particularly in the South-West and in the Loire region.

… like abroad

Sauvignon is also very present in other regions of the world, particularly in the southern hemisphere. The grape variety has found a second home in particular in New Zealand, where it has enjoyed immense success. Sauvignons from Marlborough are among the finest white wines in the world .

You can also find good wines from this variety in California, Chile and Australia.

Some Sauvignons to discover

If you like Sauvignon, you can taste the very famous Sancerres, Quincy and Pouilly-Fumé. The AOC Saint-Bris wine is also excellent.

For lovers of sweet wine, head to Sauternes . Among the other grape varieties, you will also probably like Chenin Blanc , another great Loire classic that you will also find in South Africa. Colombard , especially if produced on the Côtes de Gascogne, also presents a freshness with vegetal aromas.