Sauvignon Blanc is the white grape of Sancerre, but don’t expect it to be anything like New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc. Where the New Zealand version usually has lots of pyrazines (think green pepper), the French style has mineral for miles (think wet stone and steel). Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t really get enough credit with New World wine drinkers. It’s mainly viewed as a quaffable, crisp and zesty white wine that’s easy to crush on a patio. But it’s so much more than that. Sauvignon Blanc is sensitive to the soil where it’s grown, which means where it comes from ultimately determines its characteristics. The rich, roundness of Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley is not the same as the flinty, lime notes of Sancerre. The zippy, herbaceous qualities you find in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is nothing like the rustic, stone fruit-driven South African style. The Fournier “La Chaudouillone” Sancerre is a great example of Sauvignon Blanc’s potential for complexity and just how much it can reflect its terroir. While many wines made from this grape are meant to be consumed fresh and young, within a year or two from vintage, this wine could easily cellar until 2022. Already nearly three years old, it’s drinking remarkably well. It has all the freshness of a just-bottled wine with the developing characteristics of a more mature wine. Be careful not to chill this one too much or you’ll lose some of the distinct flavours and texture. We recommend serving at about 12 - 13 C.
Brilliant, pale gold in colour with a water white rim.
The nose has a very interesting bouquet, including floral, mineral and fruit. We find balanced aromas of white blossom, river rocks and almond, supported by beautiful tree fruit and lime zest.
Mouth watering acidity will hit you right away, then give way to a rich, full texture and phenolic feel. Lime zest, wet rocks, salinity, toasted almonds, apricot and so much more make up the bounty of flavours. Each time you take a sip you’ll find something else. Perhaps pear, white peach, green apple and hazelnuts. The finish seems to last forever and before you know it, the bottle is gone!
Delicate white fish and simple seafood dishes pair best with this Sancerre. An easy basil pesto linguine topped with trout would be wonderful. Lemon-pepper prawns, raw oysters on the half shell, and sushi are also great options. If you’re not a fan of seafood, try a light salad topped with goat cheese and a citrus vinaigrette or quinoa with grilled asparagus.
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
Retail: $25.99 Club: $21.49