Our Method: For Sauvignon Blanc we look for traditional measures of quality, including herbs on the nose and slight variances with different climates. Beyond this, these reviews are based on our opinion of what makes for a great value-minded wine. We look for balance and no flaws. Second, we taste all the wines to ensure that each vintage and winery stands up to our exacting standards for what we love to recommend for you. Third, we look for wines that are indicative of the region they come from. For Sauvignon Blanc this is predominately France (Loire Valley), Chile, New Zealand, Australia, California, and Washington State. For instance, we don’t look for Pinot Noirs from Burgundy in France that are over ripe or fruity (that is the specialty of warmer climate areas like California and Australia). Fourth, we use a Ten Point scale to ensure the ratings are easy to follow and remember and anything ranked above a 7.5 we consider a wine of great quality. Finally, we try to keep the language easy to follow to help you match wines that will align with your specific palate, because the best wines are the ones you enjoy the most! As always, reach out to us with any questions you may have with the “Ask a Sommelier” link, and feel free to engage in discussions at the bottom of each post!
1) Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016
- (Martinborough, New Zealand) $20 – LINK
- First things first a great non-French Sauvignon Blanc should never be terribly expensive, and this bottle at $20 fits the bill perfectly. A crisp and refreshing wine the nose is full of lemon, lime, herbs, and some peaches. Dry on the palate the relatively high alcohol, at 15%, makes it a fun wine to pair up with a variety of foods. We love this with spicy Indian food, Mexican food, blackened fish, and even by itself!
Our Rating: 9.25/10
2) Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2016
- (Sancerre, Loire, France) $23 – LINK
- This wine is a wonderful light bodied Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in France. Its highly acidic (as is common with French wines) and quite dry on the palate. The nose is a mix of savory herbs (like basil, mint, and thyme) as well as a pronounced amount of lemon and lime.Welove this wine with fresh goat cheese, smoked salmon, oysters, grilled shrimp, and grilled veggies. Don’t be afraid to add some ancerre wines to your collection, as French white wines go, they are an exceptional value!
Our Rating: 9/10
3) Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc 2016
- (South Africa) $15 – LINK
- South Africa is certainly not famous for the Sauvignon Blanc production (with Chenin Blanc taking that honor). However, this light and fresh wine has big aromas of lemon and minerals and thanks to the restrained alcohol of 13.5% drinks very easy. Sort of a confused wine (in the best possible way) the hot climate adds boldness and the low alcohol helps keep the strength down. While it can stand up to soft fresh cheeses and fish appetizers, we love this wine all on its own as an aperitif!