Sauvignon Blanc: Varietal of the Month

Marcy Gordon on Feb 25, 2020

Widely planted around the world, Sauvignon Blanc has an array of styles from lean and bright, to juicy and plush. Sauvignon Blanc typically offers great aromatics and flavors that range from zesty citrus, to tart apple, to creamy peach and lean nectarine. Best bets for paring are briny oysters, Thai food, crab cakes, and goat cheeses.

Here are capsule reviews of some of the many Sauvignon Blanc wines you may find along the Wine Road.

Bottles of Sauvignon Blancwith lemon tree in background

A. Toraño 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch Sonoma County
Lean and bright, with medium acidity and tart notes of lemon, lime and quince. This Sauvignon Blanc offers a bit of a riddle, a horse of a different color, with fine spiky tannins that ride into a long finish but with a surprising dollop of creaminess on the end. Satisfying and delicious, a wine equivalent of “Old Town Road”–catchy and memorable. Put it in rotation on your back porch now and all summer long.

Armida 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Redwood Road Estate, Russian River Valley
Apple, pineapple and creamy notes of peach and guava are the leading flavors in this spicy beauty with a rush of floral aromatics on the nose and immense texture and brilliant acidity. Complex and captivating, pair with rosemary roasted chicken or garlic prawns.

Colagrossi 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Pure sunshine and happiness, the Colagrossi Sauvignon Blanc is a classic example of bright citrus, pear and apple flavors and snappy acidity with a clean crisp finish. Nice balance and worthy of a great meal featuring Crab or Lobster. Or enjoy with a simple charcuterie place of spicy meats and goat cheese while relaxing on the deck with your people. 

Dry Creek Vineyard 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley
You can’t go wrong with this perennial favorite from Dry Creek Vineyards. Intensely aromatic and floral, this wine opens with big flavorful waves of pineapple, grapefruit and lime and delivers light creamy notes of peach, vanilla and guava on the finish. Elegant and full-bodied with a slightly plush mouth-feel, it’s suited to pairing with everything from light cheeses, to vegetable dishes like roasted tarragon carrots, or even pork chops.

Sauvignon Blanc bottles with lemon tree in background

Dutton Estate 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Kylie’s Cuvée
Alive with texture and flavor the pale gold with tint of green color hints at the flavors within. On the nose a bouquet of peach blossom, orange, lime, green bell pepper and touch of white pepper. The palate is full of bright acidity and a play of stone fruit and citrus. Round and balanced, pair with goat cheese and arugula salad or your favorite sushi roll.

Hanna 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley
Year after year Hanna delivers on the promise of an honest well-made example of the grape with an exciting melody of flavors including pink grapefruit, white peach, lychee, orange peel, lemon and lime and notes of galangal, which is a spice like ginger. It has a fleshy, rich mouth-feel, yet maintains a bright and zesty mineral finish.

Kelley & Young 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Alexander Valley
Pretty, elegant and refined, this medium to full bodied Sauvignon Blanc is the epitome of genteel. Meaning it’s a delight in every way from pleasing aromatics of citrus blossoms and jasmine and to the plush full flavors of apricot, ripe peach, grapefruit, vanilla and a touch of ginger. Lovely long finish that is clean and bright. Pair with good friends and great conversation.

Longboard 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley
Pale straw yellow with a slight tinge of green, the Longboard Sauvignon Blanc is lean in style but full of mouth puckering juicy citrus, plus notes of kiwi, peach, crisp Asian pear and fresh cut grass. Floral and herbaceous aromatics are a signal to what lies ahead on the palate. Makes for a wonderful breakfast wine paired with quiche! Really. Don’t judge. 😉

sauvignon Blanc bottles with lemon tree in background

Peterson 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Redwood Glen Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
A varietal fever dream full of classic Sauvignon Blanc characteristics such as crisp green apple, Meyer lemon, and grapefruit along with a creamy lush line of guava, passion fruit and ripe peach.  There is a an ever so slight savory note of tomato leaf that gives this wine a refreshing lilt and lift from common place to singular with a brisk mineral finish.

Rodney Strong Vineyards 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Charlotte’s Home, Sonoma County
Fresh aromatics with zesty crisp acidity and full of fleshy peach, passion fruit, quince and green melon. Grounded and balanced with clean, long finish. Classic and refreshing this Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc is the definition of Porch Pounder – which is just another way to say it’s eminently quaffable and thoroughly enjoyable. Oysters, with a jalapeño mignonette, would be just the ticket for a perfect pairing.

West Wines 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley
Opens with a surprising soft floral nose exhibiting aromas of peach and ripe melon. On the palate the West Wines Sauvignon Blanc offers great minerality with bracing bright citrus notes of grapefruit, tangelo, and lemon. Great balance and structure –bring this to share at book club and after the first sip, I guarantee no one will be talking about the book!

Zialena 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Redwood Ranch, Alexander Valley
Tart and full of minerality this classic style of Sauvignon Blanc offers a spring garden of floral aromatics featuring orange blossom, jasmine and bright lime. The initial flavors are lean and dry but quickly open to zesty notes of lemon, kiwi, and an intriguing hit of jalapeño! Perfect summer sipper paired with oysters or spicy Thai dishes.

Posted by Marcy Gordon

Marcy Gordon is a freelance wine and travel writer. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Wine Enthusiast, San Francisco Chronicle, Sonoma Magazine, The California Travel Guide, and Forbes Travel Guide. In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. She is the co-host of the award winning Wine Road Podcast.

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