Cheers to Sauvignon Blanc!

Times Wine Editor James Viner identifies five bottles of the ever-popular variety for International Sauvignon Blanc Day on May 5


Fling open the windows and grab a bottle of aromatic, crisp and zesty Sauvignon Blanc – by far the most familiar and popular of the white grape varietals. Spring is here and it’s time for International Sauvignon Blanc Day (#SauvBlancDay), which is always celebrated on the first Friday of May. This year it falls on May 5. With its grassy, green-tinged and fruity gooseberry and blackcurrant leaf flavours, typically not masked by oak, the international superstar ‘Savvy B’ also ideal for warmer days.


  1. Casa de Baleia Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Baleia Wines, Western Cape, South Africa

This is a quenching, skilful South African gem. Situated around 300km/180 miles east of Cape Town in windswept Riversdale, which has unique, mineral-rich limestone soils, low rainfall, cold winters and breezy summers, Baleia is the first and only winery in the Lower Duivenhoks area in the southern Western Cape. It has granadilla, preserved lemon, floral, lychee and guava riffs and a salty acidity. Crunchy, energetic and beautifully composed, this is an excellent match for moules marinières or creamy lobster. Drink a bottle now and cellar a second one for a few years. Mouth-wateringly good.


  1. Famille Bougrier ‘Les Roches Blanches’ Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, Loire, France

From the grape’s homeland of the Loire, Touraine Sauvignon is the refined, tangy, entry-level central Loire Sauvignon Blanc bought by Sancerre devotees who don’t have enough money for the real thing. Nab this medium-bodied, mouth-wateringly fresh, verdant and zesty bottle. The taste: quite steely and citrussy, with saporous suggestions of green grass, grapefruit, lime, mango and elderflower. Very stylish – a quaffable mini-Sancerre. No need to cellar, since this is at optimum drinking right now. A great result from a problematical vintage. Try it with whitebait, a tomato salad or tuna tartare.


  1. Kalfu Sumpai Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Viña Ventisquero, Huasco Valley-Atacama, Chile

Made from pristine fruit sourced from two vineyards at the southern edge of the world’s driest and highest desert, the Atacama, this is a class act with bold bell pepper, lemongrass, and herbal-spiked stone fruit.

This Sauvignon is satisfying, smart, gently mineral and very fine with lovely precision and poise. Just the ticket for fresh shellfish, oysters, and white meat.

It’s gleaming stuff with succulent, slightly saline, acidity and a pristine, dry, stony finish. Impressive persistence and pleasing to the last drop – slam dunk. Yum. Lovely gear.


  1. Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Constantia, South Africa

This is a fabulous, crisp, vibrant cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa’s Constantia Glen, located some 20km/12 miles south of Cape Town. It tastes of green tomato, cut grass, citrus, gooseberry and blackcurrant, with a kick of herbaceousness to close (just in case you forget what the grape variety is). Thanks to a soupçon (3%) of Sémillon and extended lees contact, there is also a smidge of texture to shape the palate, add weight and act as a slightly softer counterpoint.

A treat with asparagus and pancetta with dill mayonnaise, pan-seared scallops or goat’s cheese. Exquisite and a stand-out white wine.


  1. Greywacke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2022, New Zealand

Greywacke was established in 2009 by Kevin Judd, chief winemaker (and quite possibly New Zealand’s best wine photographer, too) at Cloudy Bay.

This is an extremely luminous and detailed wine with notes of guava, baked apples, lime sherbet, passionfruit, pineapple, green mango, elderflower and citrus blossom. The palate is energetic with wonderfully vivid limey acidity and citrus zestiness.

Drink it with avocado on toast, tomato salads, ceviche, Thai green curry and fish (it’s perfect for sea bass roasted with vine tomatoes).

The fruit was sourced from Marlborough’s Southern Valleys and the central Wairau Plains. Hits the Kiwi Sauvignon spot.

A wine that sings and well worth the slight premium over its peers. Kudos Kevin! Simply marvellous.


Follow @SauvBlancDay and James on Twitter @QuixoticWine and be sure to send a vinous digital kiss by tagging #SauvBlancDay and #SauvignonBlancDay

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