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ADVERTISING: Advertorial — The Sauvignon Blanc sip trip

by LAURA OLSON/The Dinner Party
| April 24, 2024 1:00 AM

I've been on a Sauvignon Blanc kick lately, trying the varietal from all over — New Zealand, South Africa, South America, France, and the US. The diversity of flavors and styles within this one grape variety has been eye-opening. Let me tell you about some of the standout Sauvignon Blancs I've tasted recently.

From the Pacific Northwest, the Walla Walla Vintners Sauvignon Blanc from Columbia Valley is a beauty. It leads with bright citrus notes of grapefruit, lemon, and lime zest along with hints of fresh-cut grass and jalapeño. There's a zingy acidity that makes it incredibly food friendly and a stony minerality that adds complexity.

Heading down to Napa Valley, the Double Eagle Sauvignon Blanc is a richer, rounder style with luscious flavors of honeydew melon, white peach, and lemon curd. You get those classic Sauvignon Blanc grapefruit and grassy notes too, but they take a backseat to the lavish tropical fruit flavors. With just a kiss of oak, it's creamy and lush while still maintaining bright acidity.

From South America, the budget-friendly Terra Pura Sauvignon Blanc from Chile's Valle de Curio region brings intense aromas of passionfruit, guava, and grapefruit. On the palate it's crisp and racy with tart citrus flavors, yet still has nice weight and texture from some lees aging.

Of course, we must talk about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which put that country's winemaking on the map. The Wairau River from Marlborough is exploding with vibrant flavors of grapefruit, lime, passionfruit, fresh-cut grass, and jalapeño. The intensity of flavors is off the charts while still being bright and zingy. It's become a benchmark for the zingy, herbaceous style of Kiwi Sauv Blanc.

Staying in the Southern Hemisphere, the Andrea Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa has been a real crowd-pleaser at the shop. It leans into the tropical spectrum with juicy notes of passionfruit, guava, melon, and citrus. But there's also an herbaceous thread of bell pepper and jalapeño running through it, adding complexity. With bright acidity lifting the rich fruit flavors, it's both vibrant and lush at the same time.

Going to Europe, the Schauer Sauvignon Blanc from Austria's Südsteiermark region is a fascinating example. With intense aromas of white grapefruit, lemon-lime, and white pepper along with a chalky minerality, it's incredibly aromatic. On the palate, it has pinpoint focus with razor-sharp acidity and flavors echoing the aromas. The finish is extraordinarily long and mouth-wateringly crisp.

Finally, we can't talk about Sauvignon Blanc without mentioning the iconic Sancerre region in France's Loire Valley. The Domaine Durand Sancerre is a quintessential example with aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, white flowers, and smoky flint notes. It's chiseled and intensely minerally on the palate with high-toned citrus and green herb flavors backgrounded by oyster shell notes.

As you can see, Sauvignon Blanc can take on many different flavors and styles depending on where it's grown. The cooler climate examples from France and Austria tend to be more herbaceous with pronounced mineral and flint notes. Warmer regions like California, Chile, and South Africa produce riper, more tropical-fruited styles. While New Zealand splits the difference with intensely aromatic flavors of grapefruit, passionfruit, jalapeño, and fresh cut grass.

No matter which style you prefer, we've got plenty of delicious Sauvignon Blanc options in the shop. In fact, we're launching a Sauvignon Blanc 6-pack special now through the end of May where you can get 20% off when you buy six bottles — mix and match across different regions if you'd like to see which country best flirts with your palate! It's the perfect opportunity to explore the diversity of this noble white grape!

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Laura Olson is co-owner of The Dinner Party along with her partner, Joe Petersen. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop or visit www.thedinnerpartyshop.com.