This racy white wine is cultivated throughout the world’s wine regions. In California, Robert Mondavi boosted its popularity by creating an oaked version called Fumé Blanc, most likely in reference to the famous French Sauvignon Blancs of the Loire Valley — Sancerre and Poully Fumé. One of the best values in Sauvignon Blanc also comes from France in the guise of white Bordeaux, primarily Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon added for roundness of texture and longevity. More recently, the Sauvignon Blancs of New Zealand, and Marlborough in particular, have been heralded by wine critics as the finest in the world, famous for their intense, mouth-puckering style of bell pepper, lush passion fruit and a quality they approvingly call “cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush.”
On its own Sauvignon Blanc is best drunk young to fully enjoy its distinctive zippy, fresh personality. Highly aromatic citrus, passion fruit, cut grass, asparagus and straw characteristics are often found in this intensely flavored white. Light in body and full of flavor, Sauvignon Blanc is a favorite for pairing with all sorts of light foods, from tapas to sushi.