01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

The Society's Community

Sauvignon

For the first time since lockdown tonight we ate fresh(ish) fish, salmon ,farmed a bit fatty & short on flavour. After 10 weeks who cares? I like Sancerre with salmon, the drier the better. The Western Loire sauvignons can give me a headache so I tend to avoid them. These days Sancerre & Pouilly Fumé constantly escalate in price, Menetou Salon Morogues was an affordable alternative to Sancerre but once discovered rose terrifically in price. So I scour the Waitrose shelves each time I shop for an alternative. There are many available but I find NZ & Chileans variable & not astringent enough to help an essentially oily dish . We do get wild salmon ocasionally from our market stall & there is an immediate reach for Robertson Springfield Estate, a really crystal clear flavour! As I knew we might have a market & therefore fish I was looking for white wine & saw Coteaux de Giennois Sauvignon Blanc. Turned the bottle over & label said terroir close to Pouilly & Sancerre and mineral in flavour, worth a go then ! Result ! Dry & flinty but Sauvignon rather than Chablis. Definitely one to try with fish.
Lots of words mainly in praise of Waitrose, but more saying as a former Stevenage resident, that I miss enormously the best off-licence in the world on Gunnels Wood Road.

13 Likes

I’m currently finding Greywacke, Dog Point, and Craggy Range are pretty much satisfying my SB requirements. I wouldn’t exactly describe them as astringent but they do go pretty well with fish. But if you’ve tried them all and they don’t work for you then so be it.

2 Likes

The Sauvignon i often like best is from Alto Adige and Friuli, as it seems to have greater complexity and body than others. Keep feeling i should revisit the Loire too, as it’s been a while. NZ usually just too much of s good thing for me, inc Greywacke and Dog Point.

In general though i think i neglect the grape too much, as it works brilliantly with lots of stuff i eat (and indeed better than quite a few things i do drink more often!)

4 Likes

Springfield make two SB’s from separate vineyards, and it’s rare to find both in the same outlet. There’s Special Cuvee and Life From Stone and they taste different. Life From Stone comes from a vineyard on a stony quartz soil and is usuall,y but not always’ the crisper more acidic wine which I prefer.

2 Likes

They do deliver, you know! I only mention it as I noticed the Society has a Coteaux du Giennois coming into stock next week. There are also the other Loire appellations to consider too - Reuilly, Quincy, Cheverny, Valencay etc.

Speaking for myself, I find myself in much the same position as @suiko. The NZ ones do go surprisingly well with Chinese cuisine, though I rarely crack open a bottle of wine with Chinese food these days, preferring water or sometimes beer.

5 Likes

We stayed in Pouilly a few years back and Coteaux de Giennois was the appellation the Pouilly Fume producers used for their Pinot Noirs. We only tasted one but it was delicious. Maybe your Sauvignon was made by a Pouilly producer who didn’t think it made the grade for the Fume label or from younger vines.

My current favourite SBs are both from New Zealand - Auntsfield and Tinpot Hut. Sadly neither stocked by TWS. Quite different in style but equally delicious.

You may be right, @JayKay. But the two Pouilly appellations are for whites only. (Pouilly Fumé for SB, and Pouilly sur Loire for Chasselas). Unlike, say, Sancerre, which allows for all colours.

My point being that Coteaux du Giennois may not be a step down from Pouilly Fumé, but a different geographic area for reds as compared with whites. This does happen elsewhere in France. Or maybe the producers grew their red vines next door as the Coteaux du Giennois is adjacent to Pouilly.

1 Like

I watched the Oz Clarke offering, and can recount a similar experience with Montana Sauv Blanc.
I found in a Asda in Aberdeen in either 1982 or 03, bottles of these never seen before Montana Sauv Blanc AND Cab Sauv. Just the newness to me, I bought a bottle of each and took them home. With no immediate rush, opened the white a week later, and the explosion of fruit was truly a never before tasted wonder to behold. Let history record that the Cab Sauv was a tidy glassful as well. Scuttled back to the Asda store, Dyce I think and yes, the “cupboard” was stripped bare and no re-appearance!! :open_mouth: :open_mouth:
As far as I can remember, it was at least a year before I saw Montana wines again in a UK supermarket. I can still remember the stunning sensation to the most untutored of palates, the shock of the magnificently acidic Gooseberry, its pal the Lychee with green Asparagus lurking in the background. Wine like that I would love to encounter these days, I really enjoyed Cloudy Bay before it got sexy, over priced and a commodity that was “released” to it’s adoring public several times per year, I have tasted Dog Point and failed to see the point and many, many others. Hunters some good, and some hugely disappointing, almost like someone had gone through the motions and phoned it in. I always wanted to support Jane, given her heart breaking story!!
As far as Montana was concerned, they brought out Brancott and Montana suffered as it seemed to have had a flavour evisceration!
Can someone point me in the direction of a cracking, unpretentious NZ Sauv Blanc that is not “up itself??!! :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

2 Likes

I was assuming we were talking about a Sauvignon Blanc rather than a Cab Sauvignon. And as I only know Giennois as a red appellation which Fume producers use for their reds I was musing on how a Sauvignon Blanc winded up under that appellation.

Yes, I don’t think there’s any Cabernet Sauvignon in any of those appellations. Coteaux du Giennois is an appellation that allows for white, rosé and red, the latter from Pinot Noir and Gamay. The Pouilly appellations don’t allow for any reds at all, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any grown there, just that if there is it may have to be labelled under a different appellation.

Maybe my last post was ambiguous when I said-

Unlike, say, Sancerre, which allows for all colours.

I meant all colours of wine. Sorry if that was ambiguous!

1 Like

Dog Point is excellent. The Exhibition SB made by Jane Hunter is very good too. I’ll second the Springfield special cuvée.

4 Likes

For every day savvie I don’t think you can beat Villa Maria Private Bin. Tho’ this is their entry level made in large quantities, its quality seems way above its price.

For more expensive SBs, look at Saint Clair; I am particularly fond of their single vineyard Pioneer Block series, all individual.

6 Likes

@peterm

So many ask for my advice, I give it freely and it seems to be appreciated. :grinning:
Looking for a good NZ SB, I have taken your advice.
3 bottles of Villa Maria SB 2019 @ £9.69 per bottle, ex Waitrose.
The best bit was that they had halves of Bolly NV on -25% offer @ £18.69 and I took 3!!
Quite often I will buy Bolly in halves from Asda, recently around £21 per half, this week £25 :open_mouth: :open_mouth: , so a terrific deal!!
You have made my day!!
Thank you!! :clap: :clap: :wink: :grinning: :dragon:

5 Likes

+1 to that Villa Maria Private Bin. Definitely punches above it’s weight.

4 Likes

To add another Loire recommendation - Touraine Chenonceaux is lovely and worth trying. TWS has bottles from Domaine des Echardières and Domaine de la Renaudie from time to time and I’ve very much enjoyed both. Definitely worth keeping an eye out for as it’s much more reasonable than Sancerre!

7 Likes

If anyone’s interested in an Italian one…

Peter Dipoli Sauvignon Voglar (Sudtirol)

La Tunella Sauvignon Col Livius (Colli Orientali del Friuli)

For me these two are better than Dog Point snd Greywacke, for slightly less dosh :grinning:

5 Likes

My favourite Northern Italian SB is from Tiefenbrunner… It’s not cheap, but is incredibly good!

4 Likes

Yeah, that’s another nice one! The Voglar has the edge i think, but I’m sure there are others too.

1 Like

You could cut to the chase and go for the Society’s New Zealand Marlborough SB made by Jane Hunter. Had the good fortune to visit in March prior to the lockdown and can’t praise her excellent SB too highly. She was one of the original pioneers of Marlborough/Blenheim wines back in the 1980s. As value for money’ the price in the list is £11.50 which compared to the top end of Felton Road,Two Paddocks,Maude and Mt Difficulty(all of which I think are excellent but not listed) must be considered worth a pop.

7 Likes