AUSTRALIAN SAUVIGNON BLANC
What does Australian Sauvignon Blanc taste like?
Depending on where in Australia your Sauvignon Blanc originates, it runs the gamut of flavour from herbal, grassy, sour citrus and gooseberry to passionfruit and tropical fruit characters. Structurally these wines can be light in body and crisp or medium-bodied and rich. Some have a small portion of oaked material to add a further dimension of complexity creating the Fumé Blanc style.
The Classic Dry White is most commonly a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon (SBS, or Semillon Sauvignon Blanc – SSB). It’s the most popular white blend in the country and it has been since the 1980s. Years before Sauvignon Blanc cast its spell on us, we were downing this crisp, refreshing white by the bucketload, and it’s still going strong today.
The aromatic and easy-drinking nature of Sauvignon Blanc has seen it become our most popular white wine. In Australia, it is also affectionately known as Savvy B. Known as a refreshing fruit-driven style of wine with tropical characters, it can also be made with some time in barrel (oak) to add complexity.
Learn more about Sauvignon Blanc wine
BEST AUSTRALIAN SAUVIGNON BLANC WINE
It is fair to say that Sauvignon Blanc is the most recognisable white wine ever, but Australian producers are doing their best to create a host of appealing new identities. Australia produces its best Sauvignon Blanc in cool climate regions like the Adelaide Hills, which provide superb conditions for this popular variety to thrive.
Is Sauvignon Blanc from Australia? No, this classic white variety originated in France and was made popular by New Zealand wine marketers when the Marlborough region found favour around the world with their highly aromatic, intensely flavoured examples. But Australian-style Sauvignon Blanc is making its own mark on the wine world.
In Bordeaux, France it is usually blended with Semillon to make great dry white wines. This classic white wine blend has been extremely popular in Australia, particularly Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blends from Western Australia.
WHAT REGION IN AUSTRALIA MAKES THE BEST SAUVIGNON BLANC?
Sauvignon Blanc differs greatly depending on the region, climate and soil in which the grapes are grown. Ideally it needs a cool climate to thrive and give it crisp acidity, whereas the examples from warmer regions can lack vibrancy. Here are some of Australia’s premier Sauvignon Blanc regions.
Sauvignon Blanc needs a cool climate to give it a defined acid profile and fruit vibrancy. Leading the way is the Adelaide Hills region, which produces crisp, fresh and grassy Sav Blanc. The Adelaide Hills is a premier region to grow Sauvignon Blanc due to their high-altitude vineyards. Sauvignon Blanc is most delicate and pretty when grown around 450m above sea level. In the hills, this means the cool nights lock in great natural acidity and the warm days give lovely slow ripening conditions, all making our fruit vibrant and fresh.
Margaret River has a very temperate maritime climate as it is surrounded by the ocean on three sides. The conditions are ideal to create a delicate and complex Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of citrus, some gooseberry, elderflower and lemon scented herbs. The palate retains this same fine fruit expression as a soft lemon curd richness adds dimension and texture. A fine balance is retained as the gentle citrus like acidity gives length and crispness to finish. Margaret River is also renowned for producing exceptional Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends.
Other top Australian Sauvignon Blanc regions
A rising star, Orange’s cool climate and high altitude have proved to be ideal conditions for creating Sauvignon Blanc with fresh, herbaceous characters retaining wonderful acidity and not tending to have full-blown tropical fruit, rather a lovely combination of citrus, herbs and exotic notes.
The cool climes of the Yarra Valley, King Valley and Goulburn Valley produce restrained and elegant Sav Blanc, while Tasmania is winning favour for its dry, occasionally oaked styles with their elevated acidity. Coonawarra, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek also do well, producing fruit driven and richer styles.
WHAT IS THE BEST SAUVIGNON BLANC IN AUSTRALIA?
Ever popular, and with a wonderful climate in which to enjoy it, Australian Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc blends are readily available with plenty of choice for wine lovers. From big brands to smaller boutique producers, mouth-watering examples are being produced across our regions.
There are a multitude of quality brands worth sampling. Consider Howard Vineyard, Berrigan Wines, The Lane Vineyard, Howard Park Wines, and Moss Brothers Wines as a good place to start.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT AUSTRALIAN SAUVIGNON BLANC
What is the difference between New Zealand and Australian Sauvignon Blanc?
Compared with the traditional New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc known for its pungently aromatic gooseberry, lush passionfruit and green capsicum characters – Aussie Sauvignon Blancs tend to be less tropical and more subtle and restrained. Australian Sauvignon Blanc is a crisper, more refreshing style of wine.
How do you pronounce Sauvignon Blanc?
Sauvignon Blanc is pronounced soh-vinh-yohn blahnk.
How many calories in a glass of Sauvignon Blanc?
When it comes calculating the total calories in a wine, you have to consider two important things – the alcohol content (Alcohol by Volume – ABV) and sugar content. From around 11% to 13% alcohol content, white wines have an average of approximately 90 to 118 calories per 150ml glass, with Sauvignon Blanc falling at the lower end of that scale.
How long does Sauvignon Blanc last unopened?
Sauvignon Blanc is typically made as a ‘drink now’ wine and can be cellared up to approximately 2 years. To store your unopened Sauvignon Blanc, we suggest keeping it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Once Sauvignon Blanc is opened, it should be consumed within 2 – 3 days.