Best Australian Sauvignon Blanc wine
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 to add complexity.
SB originated in France, and was made popular by New Zealand wine marketers, but Australian style Sauvignon Blanc is making its own mark on the wine world. It is fair to say that Sauvignon Blanc is the most recognisable wine ever, but Australian producers are doing their best to create a host of appealing new identities.
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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 also have a small portion of oaked material to add a further dimension of complexity creating the Fumé Blanc style.
What is the difference between Australian and New Zealand 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.
Best Australian Sauvignon Blanc wine regions
Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc
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 the best place to grow Sauvignon Blanc due to our 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 Sauvignon Blanc
Margaret River has a very temperate maritime climate as 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.
Cool Climate Sauvignon Blanc
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.
Orange Sauvignon Blanc
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.
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Best food pairings for Sauvignon Blanc
With such a range of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile food wine. The generous herbaceous characters are perfectly matched with dishes featuring green vegetables, particularly asparagus and broad beans. The drier styles, such as those from Tasmania, are highlighted by their acid crunch, bright, crisp, elevated acidity. This means ingredients with crunch work well; think grain dishes such as risotto and quinoa, as well as salads with grilled vegetables. Styles that are more generous have softer acidity and work well with smelly washed rind cheeses and goats cheeses such as ash-rolled chèvre.
Best wine glass for Sauvignon Blanc
Typically, lighter-bodied white wines like Sauvignon Blanc are best served in a glass with a smaller bowl. This helps to keep it cool and helps to concentrate and amplify the floral aromatics of these delicate styles. Always hold the glass by the stem to ensure the bowl is not heated by your hands.
With so many sizes, shapes and styles, choosing the right wine glass can be a little daunting. Check out our guide to wine glasses here