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Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most well known, popular, and distinctive varieties. Its base in the Old World is still strong, producing the famous wines of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume in the Loire Valley as well as much of southwest France, including Bordeaux where it is thought to have originated as a result of a spontaneous field crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon. Within the appellations of Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers, it makes fine dry whites, blended with Semillon, Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc. However its importance is not to be overlooked in neighboring Sauternes helping form some of the world's most sought after dessert wines. On the other side of the world New Zealand's association with the grape has become so strong the two are almost synonymous. On the whole they tend to be bolder with more pungent exotic aromas that their European counterparts. It is also cultivated to a large extent in South Africa, Chile, Australia, and California. Initially coined and marketed by Robert Mondavi as Fume Blanc, the Californian versions were aged in a little oak in order to tame the grassy quality, although now Fume Blancs may refer to unoaked Sauvignon too. Common tasting notes include, grass, gooseberries, lemon, and grapefruit from cooler regions. Riper, sweeter fruit notes such as melons, figs and pears are found in warmer climate renditions. Careful oak ageing can develop more weight and complexity, sometimes displaying tropical mandarin and stone fruit.
A country viewed by many as the home of fine wine, it is almost unique in terms of how embedded food and wine is in the nations culture. Given the diverse geography, with so much of the country providing the climate and soil suitable for viticulture, it is no surprise that its produces such an extensive and varied selection of wines. It is the country from where the vast majority of the New World's most popular "international" grapes and stylistic influences originate. While there might seem to be an alarming disparity between the most sought after wines (were a case might set you back as much as a deposit on a small house) and the millions of gallons of vin de table filling up the European wine lake every year, there is so much great value to be found between the two extremes. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhone may still dominate the market for fine wine, but regions including the Loire, Alsace, Languedoc & Roussillon and the South West are increasingly becoming excellent sources of good quality, affordable wines.
Located in South West France, Bordeaux is one of the World’s most important wine producing regions. The Gironde estuary and its two tributaries, the Garonne and Dordogne, splits the region into the ‘left bank’ and ‘right bank’. The left bank, on the west side of the Gironde, consists of the Médoc and Graves, while Pomerol and St. Emilion are located on the right bank. In between the Garonne and Dordogne is the Entre-Deaux-Mers region, French for 'between two seas'. From north to south the Médoc includes the famous classed growth chateaux in the communes of St. Estephe, Paulliac, St.Julien, and Margaux. The Graves and it’s enclave Pessac-Léognan make both red and white wine. While those of Pessac- Léognan’s are dry, Sauternes and Barsac make world-famous sweet whites. Although Bordeaux makes some of the world’s most expsenive wines, less expensive but good value alternatives come from Moulis and Listrac on the left and Bourg and Blaye on the right offer less expensive wines for earlier consumption.
White wine is a wine whose color can be pale-yellow, yellow-green, and yellow-gold colored. The wine is produced from a variety of grape varieties. The flavor and color comes from the juice of the grape and sometimes the skin of the grape as well. Interestingly, not all white wine comes from white grapes. Some select red grapes are used as in Champagne.