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The Islander Estate Vineyards

Cath Williams
7 May 2021 | Food and Wine, Winemaking and Viticulture | Cath Williams

Take a fresh look at Sauvignon Blanc

One of the comments we hear most often at our Tasting Room is "wow, I've never tasted a Sauvignon Blanc like this". 

With its huge rise in popularity in recent years, all Australian white wine drinkers have included Sauvignon Blanc in their wine repertoire.  But we think there's lots more to learn about this variety that can produce such varied characteristics.  Here's some new facts about one of our favourite varieties:
  1. It’s no new kid on the wine-block.  Sauvignon Blanc originated in France in the 1500’s the Loire Valley & Jacque Lurton’s native Bordeaux where is features in famous wines like Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.
  2. Sauvignon Blanc has a wild side.  Its name comes from the French words ‘sauvage’ meaning wild and ‘blanc’ that meaning white.
  3. Sauvignon Blanc in Bordeaux is most known as a major player in the sweet wine Sauternes.
  4. Bordeaux’s most famous white blend, Bordeaux Blanc, pairs Semillon & Sauvignon Blanc in the world’s original Sem-Sauv-Blanc blends.
  5. Believe it or not Sauvignon Blanc is the mother of the robust tannic red wine variety Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Franc is the father).
  6. Sauvignon Blanc grows best in cool or maritime climates (both Bordeaux & Kangaroo Island feature maritime climates) where long even growing conditions balance its crisp acidity with fresh fruit character. 
  7. Sauvignon Blanc was one of the first varieties to be described in terms of one of its dominant flavour compounds, methoxypyrazines. This compound is responsible for the Sauvignon Blanc’s herbaceous nature, including characters like asparagus, cut grass, capsicum, dried herbs and gooseberries. Next time you taste wine with friends, drop this term!
  8. Not all Sauvignon Blancs are the same.  It can vary wildly based on where its grown & wine making techniques, so try a wide range of regions & styles.
  9. It has an alias. Fumé Blanc –coined in California in the 1960s and popularized by Robert Mondavi. Fumé Blanc is Sauvignon Blanc. Sometimes it is aged in oak, giving it smoky  notes (fumé means smoke), but it is not required that it be aged in oak.
  10. Looking for foods that pair beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc?  Easy, if the dish would be enhanced by a squeeze of lemon, you’ll be on a winner serving them together.

We have very limited quantities of our 2019 Sauvignon Blanc left online & at our Tasting Room, order yours now:


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