Spring whites: 7 mouth-watering bottles of Sauvignon Blanc

17th Apr 19 | Lifestyle

Uber fresh, the flavours leap from the glass, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Tropical White Wine

From the elegance of sancerre to the bright and punchy flavours of Marlborough sauvignon blanc, this refreshing white comes in a variety of styles from around the world – but most have a common thread of lemony, herbal, grassy notes and juicy acidity.

Luckily, the spectrum of styles supermarkets are offering under their own label is wider than ever – and with attractive price points. It’s safe to say wine lovers fond of fresh ‘green’ wines have never had it so good.

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There’s no doubting New Zealand’s commitment to ‘quality over quantity’ has sealed its reputation as a premium producer, and it’s hard to beat the juicy exuberance you find in a Kiwi white.

But let’s not forget, France and Chile produce pure, focused whites that offer more than bracing herbs.

Here are seven zesty styles to try now…

1. Cimarosa Malborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand (£5.99, Lidl)

Cimarosa Malborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
(Lidl/PA)

Now here’s a sunny surprise. Convincingly good with scents of passion fruit and blossom, it captures sauvignon blanc’s vibrant character with its zesty, citrus flavours, fruity freshness and subtle mineral notes. A steal.

2. Tesco Finest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, New Zealand (£6.50 from £8.50, now until May 6, Tesco)

Tesco Finest Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
(Tesco/PA)

Savvy blanc devotees will relish the maritime freshness resonating through the concentrated flavours of gooseberry, passion fruit and a ripe mix of tropical fruits. It has a fresh, herbal finish that’s energising and uplifting. Delicious from beginning to end.

3. Co-op Irresistible Explorer’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, New Zealand (£7.50, Co-op, in-store only)

Co-op Irresistible Explorer's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
(Co-op/PA)

With appealing aromatics of honeysuckle and gooseberry, elegant passion fruit flavours unfold with a delightful little nettle-like tingle, and a minerally complexity accompanies the wine’s lovely long finish – which feels rich and focused. Delicious with vegetarian dishes.

4. Waitrose Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Touraine, France (£7.99, Waitrose)

Waitrose Sauvignon Blanc, France
(Waitrose/PA)

Touraine offers excellent value compared to fine wine labels from Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume in the Upper Loire. It may not have the telling grassy aromatics of New World savvy blanc, but this wine has the perfect balance of freshness, limey, lemony goodness and natural acidity to pair beautifully with goat’s cheese.

5. Riveras Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Leyda Valley, Chile (£9.99, Aldi)

Riveras Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley, Chile
(Aldi/PA)

When I looked at the back of this wine label, which reads: “You are holding our lively, aromatic Leyda Valley sauvignon blanc which was named best sauvignon in 2018,” my ears pricked up. Chile’s near perfect growing conditions can give New Zealand a run for its money, and this is seductively aromatic with a melange of passion fruit, peach, delicate lime, citrus and peach, as well as some leafy, herbal notes. Just delicious.

6. De Martino Legado Reserva 2017, Casablanca Valley, Chile (£13.95, Berry Bros & Rudd)

De Martino Legado Reserva, Chile
(Berry Bros & Rudd/PA)

Another little cracker from Chile – this vigorous grape thrives in the cool climate coastal regions of Leyda and Casablanca. This is clean, fresh and herbaceous with mouth-watering grapefruit, lime, kiwi and lychee flavours, vibrant acidity and a streak of minerality on the intensely crisp finish. Pair with ceviche and sushi.

7. Domaine Michel Thomas Sancerre 2018, Sancerre AOC, France (£17.99, Laithwaite’s)

Domaine Michel Thomas Sancerre, France
(Laithwaite’s/PA)

On the left bank of the Loire across from Pouilly-Fume, the chalky clay soils of Sancerre produce wines with real poise, such as this pure, polished white. Intense and zingy with a stony, minerally character and hits of ripe citrus, green apple and freshly cut grass, there’s tingling acidity on the finish which ends with a zest of lime. Wonderful with delicate seafood and, again, goat’s cheese.

© Press Association 2019

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