One of the best shortcuts to selecting outstanding Sauvignon Blanc (or any wine for that matter) is to know the top 1 or 2 regions where it grows the best.
The top regions for Sauvignon Blanc are Loire Valley, France and Marlborough, New Zealand.
Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand
The single region that makes the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world is Marlborough. Its cool to moderate climate creates the best growing conditions for these grapes.
The winemakers are so advanced with this grape that they have taken to experimenting. They harvest grapes throughout Marlborough rather than from a single plot. This allows them to create a broad range of fruit flavors from lemon and peach to passion fruit. At the same time, these wines still showcase their hallmark characteristics of dryness, high acidity, and herbaceous notes.
Best Sauvignon Blanc Brands from Marlborough
Some high-quality Sauvignon Blanc brands from this region include some popular brands like Kim Crawford along with a few under-the-radar labels.
Kim Crawford ~ $17 (Wilfred Wong 91)
Loveblock ~ $17 (Wine Spectator 90)(This one is special as the winemaker, Kim Crawford, started this brand after selling his namesake winery. He and his wife run Loveblock together. This is a delicious Sauvignon Blanc…Must try!)
Nautilus ~$20 (James Suckling 92)
Geisen ~$15 (Wine Spectator 90)
Clos Henri ~$27 (James Suckling 93)
Cloudy Bay ~$29 (James Suckling 92)
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Aging Potential & Cost
Sauvignon Blanc is meant to be enjoyed within a couple of years of the vintage (year) on the bottle. Its also relatively affordable with most priced between $15-$20.
Sauvignon Blanc in France
The first thing to know is that France doesn’t name its wine by the name of the grape. Ugh! I know – make things even more difficult, thank you!
Sauvignon Blanc goes by the names of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. These are two appellations (sub-regions) within the Loire Valley. This valley is located in the central part of France with a river running through the region to the Atlantic, providing a perfectly cool climate for the Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
Sancerre is known to be crisp and dry with citrus flavors and minerality.
Pouilly-Fumé is known for its crisp grapefruit and gunflint flavors.
Best Value Sancerre Brands
Domaine Vacheron Sancerre ~$41 (Robert Parker 93 rating)
Florian Mollet Sancerre ~$30 (James Suckling 92)
Pascal Jolivet Sancerre ~$36 (James Suckling 91)
J. de Villebois Sancerre ~$28 (Decanter 90)
Le Petit Silex Sancerre ~$22 (Wilfred Wong 92)
Henry Bourgeois Sancerre Le Barrones Blanc ~$27 (Wilfred Wong 92)
Best Value Pouilly-Fumé Brands
Château de Tracy Pouilly-Fumé Mademoiselle de T ~$22 (Wine Searcher 90)
Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly-Fumé Prédilection ~$35 (Wine Searcher 91)
Florian Mollet Pouilly-Fumé ~$30 (James Suckling 94)
Pascal Jolivet Pouillly-Fumé ~$28 (James Suckling 92)
Sancerre & Pouilly-Fumé Aging Potential & Cost
Most are meant to be drunk young. Usually within 2-3 years of release, while some can be aged for up to 10 years.
You’ll find great value Sancerre in the $20-$40 range. Although you could splurge with some reaching into the hundreds of dollars.
Great value Pouilly-Fumé can be found for $20-$30. At the same time, you can splurge on some pricey bottles up to $80+.
Check out Sauvignon Blanc from the Top Regions
To select geat wine, just look for their top regions. You could start with the brands here that have strong ratings from the experts. That will give you a benchmark to work from. Compare Sauvignon Blanc from each of these top 3 regions. See which you prefer and how they differ from each other. Explore and have fun with it! Cheers!
Tell us in the comments which Sauvignon Blanc is your favorite!