Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor profile tends toward racy, energetic ebullience making it ideal for warm-weather sipping. France’s Loire and Bordeaux regions are masters of the varietal, but in past decades regions such as New Zealand, California, and Chile have jumped into the game, making their own zesty expressions. For the most part, Sauvignon Blanc is a good value says, Jim Laughren, CWE and author of 50 Ways to Love Wine More: “Whether from Chile, New Zealand, California (at times called Fumé Blanc), Canada, France (those labeled Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé will be at the top of the price list), Australia, or South Africa, you can count on a very good bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for a surprisingly modest outlay.” Below are a few suggestions to get your patio season started.
Ritual Sauvignon Blanc, Chile, 2019: Grown in Chile’s Casablanca Valley, the wine is made using organic practices. The fruit is bright, pure and clean, very much a classically styled expression. $20 average online.
St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc, 2019: Made exclusively from estate grown fruit, this wine’s lime zest grapefruit-y energy gets a nice textural boost from the lemon-cream and peach notes on the palate. Delicious, juicy and mouth-watering, it’s a classically styled Sauvignon Blanc from a great Napa winery—in fact St. Supery is laser focused on sustainability in all areas of wine production. They are certified as both Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery and they farm with an eye towards biodiversity and sustainability. Avg. price $20
Graham + Stella Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018: One will love this wine’s racy profile and layers of tropical fruit but what really makes it special—it does a good turn every time you buy a bottle. The winery is a newly forged partnership between Christy Canterbury (Master of Wine) and Jaime Araujo. Together these women agreed to donate $1 from every bottle sold to one of the two animal shelters where they found their own pets (Graham and Stella, of course). $30
Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019: Lively notes of nectarine and tangerine dominate the palate, supported by fresh botanical notes. It’s a pretty, bright fruity wine with a nice solid core of minerality. $19.99 average online
Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2019: Winemakers Erica and Kim Crawford (yes, the original winemaker behind the Kim Crawford label—which they sold years ago), took up this project with the intention of sustainably cultivating an extraordinary expression of Sauvignon Blanc. Job well done. The wine shows graceful, balanced fruit with tropical notes of peach and pineapple and a firm, mineral core. $22.99 on wine.com
Double Eagle Sauvignon Blanc—This 100% sauvignon blanc from a smaller Napa Valley producer is made by winemaker Philippe Melka—who is well loved for his rich and polished red wines. Lime, orange peel and lemon curd aromas marry with a rich texture and a zesty grapefruit pop. Lots to love in this wine’s lingering finish—but it’s on the pricey end. $48
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, 2020: Juicy and fruity with a core of bright pink grapefruit and Pink Lady apple notes. Balanced and fresh with a mouth-watering acidity, this is another fine expression from one of New Zealand’s most respected producers. It’s concentrated and energetic; a pleasure to drink and the only way you’ll be visiting New Zealand for the present moment. $42.99 on wine.com