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Friday, February 25, 2011

Sauvignon Blanc - Vive la France!

I’ve noticed in the past year or so that fewer and fewer people are going for Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio and more are picking Sauvignon Blanc.  But everyone seems to be reaching for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (and I myself happen to like Oyster Bay, Kim Crawford, Matua, and Monkey Bay, to name a few).  And there are some American Sauvignon Blancs I enjoy, namely the lovely herbal Raphael Sauvignon Blanc from the North Fork of Long Island, and the clean and very affordable Rock Rabbit Sauvignon Blanc from the Central Coast of California.

But my favorite Sauvignon Blancs are often from France, from the Loire Valley in particular.  On opposite sides of the river are Pouilly-Fume and Sancerre, with some of the most wonderful Sauvignon Blancs in the world.  The white wines produced here are smoky, crisp, and dry, and generally lovely, as well as being quite food-friendly.
A very nice example of Pouilly-Fume is the Domaine Alain Cailbourdin Les Cris.  This was the white wine chosen by my sister for her wedding.  It was a very good pairing with the swordfish entree and it was a perfect pairing with the appetizer which was a chilled lobster sampler.  The wine is light and crisp and classy yet energetic, with notes of citrus and white fruits and herbs with mineral characteristics, and has a lengthy finish.  Unfortunately, the wine is not particularly easy to find in wine shops, but if you can locate it, I highly recommend it.

2008 Domaine Alain Cailbourdin Pouilly-Fume Les Cris

I’ve been very fortunate to try a few excellent wines from Sancerre, and my favorite is the Domaine Hippolyte-Reverdy.  The first time I tried this wine, I paired it with lobster and goat cheese, and it was an ideal pairing for sure.  The wine is light in color, and has a beautiful floral bouquet straight from the bottle to the glass, and once it opened up a bit, the exotic fruits became apparent, along with the expected mineral characteristics.  The wine is complex, smooth, and elegant, and the finish was a bit longer than anticipated, which I enjoyed, since I love this wine so much.  And after each taste, I felt compelled to go back for more, as the wine continued to change and demonstrate a whole repertoire of lovely flowers and fruits, while maintaining its cleanliness.  And I am happy to report that this wine is fairly easy to spot in wine shops, and with its beautiful label, it’s hard to miss.  If you love Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is a must.

2009 Domaine Hippolyte-Reverdy Sancerre


  1. Sauvignon blanc is my fave, and I do love Kim Crawford's sauvignon blanc. Great post, Jac! Thanks!

  2. Thanks so much for re-posting!!!

  3. Love that you mentioned my wedding!! Great blog. :)


  4. I knew you'd appreciate that!