Four sauvignon blanc bottles to try

What you need to know, from origins to flavours, about the popular white wine. Sommelier Svetoslav Manolev, from Ormer Mayfair, chooses his four favourites

The Grape

Originally from Bordeaux, the green-skinned sauvignon blanc grape is grown across the world, but is famed for making some of south-western France's best Graves whites, including the dry white from first-growth Château Haut-Brion. The name is thought to mean 'wild (sauvage) white (blanc)'.

The Taste

With its herbaceous qualities – fresh-cut grass is always evident and sometimes asparagus, too – the fruit will vary depending on where it's grown. If it comes form New Zealand, you'll get tropical fruits (passion fruit, grapefruit) or gooseberry. If it's French, there are more minerals, with stony aromas and citrus and peach flavours.

The Vines

Aside from France – Bordeaux and the Loire Valley – sauvignon blanc is produced everywhere from Chile and Argentina to the US and South Africa. However, it's New Zealand that has become synonymous with the grape due to the consistent quality, which is harder to achieve in Europe's varied climate.

The Pairings

One of the wine's best qualities is its versatility. A New Zealand pour can easily go with white meat, fish, salads, sallows and citrus flavours. A classic Loire combination is bringing it together with goat’s cheese or soft, creamy cheeses – the high acidity making it an ideal match – and its herby nature also makes it great with tarragon, dill, lemongrass and mint. Its bite means it is able to cut through naturally fatty content, too, such as herb-laden pork sausages.

2019 Errazuriz Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Aconcagua Valley, Chile)

Bursting with fresh lime, tangerine and lemongrass notes, this wine is a true expression of Aconcagua Valley's Casablanca terroir. On the palate it offers fresh acidity and a persistent finish.

Available at:£9.49,

2019 Errazuriz Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Aconcagua Valley, Chile)

2018 Trinity Hill Sauvignon Blanc (Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand)

This bright, versatile New Zealand sauvignon blanc has gentle aromas of lime, peach, quince and elderflower. Fresh, zingy acidity is balanced beautifully by a tiny amount of retained sweetness.

Available at:£13.99,

2018 Trinity Hill Sauvignon Blanc (Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand)

2019 Greywacke 'Wild' Sauvignon (Marlborough, New Zealand)

Very expressive, with notes of passion fruit, nectarine, asparagus and cut grass. Expect impressive texture and a lingering finish, with a hint of vanilla from the old oak used in the vinification.

Available at:£30,

2019 Greywacke 'Wild' Sauvignon (Marlborough, New Zealand)

2015 Sancerre Edmond Vatan ‘Clos la Néore’ (Loire Valley, France)

The 2015 is a spectacular and concentrated vintage with remarkable freshness. On the nose the wine shows delicate citrus followed by riper notes of peach, melon and honeysuckle. The palate is dense, with remarkable balance, creamy texture and expressive minerality. The wine drinks incredibly well now, but could equally be cellared for another five to ten years. A short aeration before serving is recommended.

Available at:£217,

2015 Sancerre Edmond Vatan ‘Clos la Néore’ (Loire Valley, France)

Get Premium access to all the latest content online

Subscribe and view full print editions online... Subscribe