available in Ontario from November 11, 2017
Even more than Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc is a chameleon: it adapts and changes its expression depending on where it is grown, and of course shows the influence of winemaking very openly. With this release, we have six very attractive examples, mostly from well-known origins, with three from the Loire and two from Marlborough. But we begin with a wine from a less well-known region for Sauvignon, a ripe but still beautifully elegant and captivating wine from Alto Adige in northern Italy. This is the 2015 Vette Di San Leonardo Sauvignon Blanc from IGP Vigneti delle Dolomiti, made in a rather unique style that provides an interesting counterpoint to the more typical wines that follow.
Three wines from the Loire are headed by a textbook Sancerre, the 2015 Vieilles Vignes Sancerre from the excellent producer Jean-Max Roger. This is followed by the 2014 Pouilly-Fumé from Le Domaine Saget, and a value-driven IGP Vin de Pays du Val de Loire, the 2016 Henri Bourgeois Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc. The final two wines are from Marlborough: the 2017 Kim Crawford Small Parcels Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc, and the 2016 Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc.
VETTE DI SAN LEONARDO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti
Vintages #524991 • $23.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100I found this wine so interesting! There are subtle earthy, herbal and grassy undertones, but the nose is mostly about the finely etched lemon and apple fruit, with light floral elements too. The wine is bone-dry, with high acidity and moderate alcohol — clean, fresh, bright and joyful. Quite a unique expression of the Sauvignon Blanc, with ripe but delicate fruit, and much of the typical green and earthy element ripened away, but retaining a core of vitality. Focused, elegant and delicious!
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • WINEWORLD IMPORTERS & EXPORTERS LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
JEAN-MAX ROGER VIEILLES VIGNES SANCERRE AC 2015
Vintages #527218 • $39.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100The wines of Jean-Max Roger provide a real benchmark for Sancerre. The nose presents subtle stony and chalky notes with a slightly earthy breadth — no fruit at first, until an undercurrent of lemon, green apple and green pear gently emerges. Bone-dry, with high acidity, there is a firm core of green fruit on the palate that gathers a white grapefruit edginess, lingering with the stony and saline finish. So linear and direct, the essence of the region. Age-worthy — cellar for eight to ten years or more — but very enjoyable over the short term too.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • CONNEXION OENOPHILIA (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
LE DOMAINE SAGET POUILLY-FUMÉ AC 2014
Vintages #471540 • $25.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This is an interesting and attractively priced introduction to Pouilly Fumé. The wine is surprisingly deep yellow in colour. The generous nose has a lactic and leesy quality that adds depth to the restrained apple and lemon fruit, with an earthy-stony undertone. Brisk acidity enlivens the fruit on the palate, before narrowing into a stony-lemony finish. Surprising breadth and generosity for a cooler vintage, with an underlying earthy and herbaceous character. Perhaps not a textbook example, but modern and approachable.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • BRAND NEW DAY WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
HENRI BOURGEOIS PETIT BOURGEOIS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, IGP Vin de Pays du Val de Loire
Vintages #672345 • $15.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is a fine value from the Loire. Earthy, herbal and grassy notes are followed by lively apple and lemon-grapefruit, that show a brightness that may be attributable to the vintage. The wine is dry, with zesty acidity that helps the grapefruit element jump to the fore, while a subtle green element lingers around the edges. Very Sauvignon Blanc, very Loire, but with a riper element that makes the wine very approachable.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • CHARTON HOBBS INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
KIM CRAWFORD SMALL PARCELS SPITFIRE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #38240 • $24.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100A very interesting Sauvignon Blanc from the Kim Crawford small parcels program. On the nose, rather typical sweaty, tinned asparagus and green herbal notes combine with a centre of lemon, grapefruit and green apple fruit, that recedes into the background as the smoky herbal frame overpowers. But on the palate it's all about the grapefruit and bright acidity, that in turn drives the herbal and vegetal elements to the edges. And of particular interest here is the lightness of the wine: with alcohol at just 12%, the palate is elegant and dynamic. Quite a treat.
Tasted 20-Oct-2017 • ARTERRA WINES CANADA INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
WITHER HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #919514 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This is a bright, modern Marlborough Sauvignon, one of the wines moving away from what I still think of as mainstream. There is a very light smoky and herbal edge to the nose, with a subtle green apple and white grapefruit core, with very little vegetal character. The wine is brightly acidic, with a pleasantly creamy texture that surprises, given the moderate alcohol. The grapefruit-tinged fruit on the palate is bright, with juicy acidity and a stony finish. Really very pleasant, and a terrific value.
Tasted 20-Oct-2017 • VIN VINO WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation