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Sauvignon Blanc’s name translates to ‘Wild White’ or ‘Savage White,’ referring to the varietal’s vigorous and wild-growing vines which require a lot of hands-on attention in the vineyard. Originally hailing from either the Bordeaux region or the Loire Valley region of France, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted white wine grapes in the world. Because of this, it may be labeled with a different name, depending on which region it’s from. In Bordeaux, it’s referred to as White Bordeaux or Bordeaux Blanc, and in France’s Loire Valley, it’s called Sancerre – the name of the village where the grapes are grown. In Austria, it’ll likely be labeled Muskat-Silvaner, in Germany it’s Feigentraube, and in Italy, it’s just Sauvignon. In the USA, Sauvignon Blanc from California is often called Fume Blanc, but we keep it simple here in Oregon and call it Sauvignon Blanc.
Depending on the climate, Sauvignon Blanc’s characteristics can vary greatly from one region to another, offering a full spectrum of flavors and styles. In cooler climates, Sauvignon Blanc produces crisp, dry, and refreshing wines that offer zesty lime, green apple, passionfruit, and white peach characteristics that are highlighted by herbaceous notes of cut-grass, green nettles, green pepper, and sometimes even jalapeno. In moderate to warmer climates, characteristics will display more tropical notes such as guava and pineapple. However, the best and most revered Sauvignon Blancs come from the cooler climate regions, one of the reasons why it grows so remarkably well here in Oregon. Oregon’s Sauvignon Blancs do, in fact, take on the typical cooler climate characteristics (and oftentimes tropical notes are also noted), but there’s also a very distinctive saline (aka sea salt or salty sea spray) nuance that makes Oregon Sauvignon Blancs outstanding.
At Sweet Cheeks Winery, recent releases of our Sauvignon Blanc have been a huge hit, and the 2020 vintage Sauvignon Blanc is one of the best yet. We don’t grow the Sauvignon Blanc varietal on our estate vineyard, so Leo (our winemaker) sources the fruit from other Oregon vineyards that he works closely with. With a portion of the fruit sourced from Quail Run Vineyards in the Rogue Valley and the remainder from Parker Vineyard in the Umpqua Valley, Leo was sure to get extra amounts of fruit this round. Our last release of Sauvignon Blanc sold out rather quickly, so he wanted to make sure we had more to offer our fans this round.
Each vineyards’ fruit brings in different components, giving the wine a really nice depth and complexity; one adds super fruity characters while the other adds bright, zippy acidity, making for a really well-balanced wine. In line with what one would expect with Oregon fruit, our Sauvignon Blanc is fruit-forward. Vibrant aromas and crisp flavors of green melon, freshly sliced pear, and lime verbena herb are highlighted by mineral-driven notes of salty sea spray. A mid-palate hint of zesty jalapeno is joined with racy acidity that follows through to a perpetually bright and juicy finish that’s well balanced and super refreshing.
The crisp and refreshing acidity of Sauvignon Blanc beautifully compliments a myriad of dishes; particularly, seafood, shellfish, poultry and spicy foods. Acidity cuts through fat, so Sauvignon Blanc can easily stand up to rich, fatty meals. Because of the wine’s herbaceous qualities, some of its quintessential food pairings include meals that are loaded up with herbs like rosemary, basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, sage and more. For an outstanding recipe that pairs perfectly with our 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, check out this classic Butternut Squash Bisque recipe here.
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