I don’t really like grape variety days all that much. There are, I am told, some 1400 grape varieties grown commercially in the world. So that means that you’d have to share each and every day among at least three varieties, if their allocated days are spread evenly through the year. That could be boring.
It’s a bit like birthday notifications among friends on Facebook. On average, I have 13 friends who have birthdays on any particular day. Of course, I don’t know them all (I flirt with Facebook’s maximum limit of 5000, which means that although I now only friend people I’ve actually met, in the early days I just friended everyone who requested it), but I do know quite a few of them. It’s quite a task keeping up with all these birthdays, and in a strange way it makes each of us seem less significant. Over 16 million people celebrate their birthday on the same day as me.
Despite this: it is Sauvignon Blanc day. An important variety that is more serious than people realize, and one that I have focused on a bit. So I really ought to put up some notes on noteworthy Sauvignons that I have recently tried. Here goes.
Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Constantia, South Africa
13% alcohol. Has 4% Semillon in the blend. Crisp, pure and linear with a tight personality. Attractive citrus and grapefruit notes with lovely purity and a hint of pear richness. 89/100 (£11.95 Berry Bros & Rudd)
Kalfu Sumpai Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Huasco, Chile
13% alcohol. Remarkable stuff: lively, super fresh and exotic with bright grapefruit and green pepper notes, as well as some passionfruit richness. Just so expressive and detailed with the greenness beautifully integrated. 92/100 (£16.99 The Wine Reserve)
Giesen The August 1888 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, New Zealand
This is Marlborough Sauvignon with a difference: low yields and barrel ferments with wild yeast. It’s powerful, intense and textured with quince and pear, citrus and peach. Rich style with lovely fruit. Sophisticated and powerful. 92/100 (£19.95 Dylans Wine, The New Zealand Wine Cellar, Last Try Wines, UK agent: Ehrmanns)
Churton Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, New Zealand
13% alcohol. From Marlborough’s southern hills, this is a distinctive biodynamically grown Sauvignon, unusual in that it is cork sealed. There’s a faint creamy edge to the broad pear and quince fruit with a lovely textural quality. Fine grained and almost structured with mineral notes and a lovely purity. 91/100 (£15.95 Berry Bros & Rudd; Tanners have the 2013)
Dog Point Vineyards Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Marlborough, New Zealand
Who says Sauvignon doesn’t age? This is fabulous: intense and powerful with peach, pear and spice notes, a lovely full texture and a mineral twist. Rich, complex and well balanced, and verging on the profound. 94/100
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