Sauvignon Blanc needs no introduction to even the most casual of wine lover. New Zealand is the poster child of embracing a grape and style of wine and dominating the marketplace.
The Kiwi style of sauvignon blanc is not the only version however, yet all the biggest Sauvignon Blanc producing regions of the world have very distinct styles.
- New Zealand, particularly Marlborough, has made themselves known world wide with a distinctive high acid, grassy, gooseberry, clean crisp style of Sauvignon Blanc.
- California made waves with a style they call Fume Blanc which is much riper rounder and fuller bodied. Use of new oak barrels gives the wines a tropical toasty, smoky and round character.
- Bordeaux has similarly made a style of Sauvignon Blanc (often blended with Semillon) that is richer, rounder and presents some new oak.
- The Loire Valley in northern france is famous for a more mineral, citrusy and floral style that is structured and chiseled.
With our Sauvignon Blanc we wanted to make our own style of Sauvignon Blanc so we took some pages from each of the famous styles the world over.
From New Zealand we have borrowed techniques we apply to our cool microclimate vineyards. The vineyard canopy is managed to hide the grapes behind the leaves so they don’t get any exposure to sun and they produce aromatic compounds known as Methoxypyrazines which give the wines their distinct grass, and bell pepper like flavours. In the winery cool fermentations and careful treatment in stainless steel helps preserve these delicate aromatics.
From the California playbook we treat our warmer vineyard sites differently, here we expose bunches to the sun where they receive a light sunburn. Here we derive tropical flavours of passion fruit and guava. In the winery this fruit sees aging in toasted barrels for both fermentation and aging; this contributes yet more tropical flavours and even some vanilla notes.
The Loire valley steers our hand when we approach our steep hillside vineyards. Here the keys are balanced viticulture and a careful hand in the winery. The wine has some skin contact before pressing, a delicate use neutral oak barrels and long aging on the lees with occasional battonage. This leads to more mineral, citrusy and savoury set of aromatics and flavours.
With all these vineyard and winery tasks completed, Severine has a wide palette of flavours to work with when she creates the final blend.