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Wine

Best Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wine varietals around the world. It's a green-skinned grape that can produce a light straw-colored wine that has a slight green tint. The flavors in this wine can also run on the green side, with notes of grass and herbs predominating in this crisp, acidic wine. This dry, crisp quality makes it a favorite to pair with fish and shellfish dishes.

There are two main styles of Sauvignon Blanc. Grapes grown in cooler climates will produce less sugar, leading to a more acidic wine that features grassy flavors and bitter citrus peel on the nose. In warmer climates, these grapes are much sweeter, leading to wines with strong flavors of tropical fruit and sometimes candy. In general, the first style is preferred, since the crispness of this wine is what made it popular in the first place. That said, there are plenty of people who love the off-dry quality of a warm-weather Sauvignon Blanc, which is often referred to as Fume Blanc, especially in Northern California.

A relatively light-bodied wine, Sauvignon Blanc is quick to mature in the bottle and is usually best within a few years of harvest. This quick turn-around has made it a popular varietal with winemakers who are just starting out.

Horse Heaven Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc '12

Horse Heaven Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc '12

Fermented and aged in stainless steel in order to preserve the crisp, light character of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Horse Heaven Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc '12 is our favorite wine of this varietal for under $20. Though it hails from Northern California, this wine is characteristic of French Sauvignon Blanc, with lots of citrus and fresh grass flavors. Over the past years, Horse Heaven has scored in the high 80's and low 90's. It's not just loved by wine critics, however, this wine is also popular with serious and casual wine drinkers alike. Since it's dry and acidic, it's excellent with a light fish dinner or as a wine to sip on before dinner.

Lake Sonoma Winery Sauvignon Blanc '12

Lake Sonoma Winery Sauvignon Blanc '12

Fruit forward and dry, Lake Sonoma Winery Sauvignon Blanc '12 is one of our Best Picks when it comes to Sauvignons for under $20. Not as grassy or bitter as Sauvignon Blanc grown in cooler climates, this wine is still incredibly crisp and refreshing. It has Meyer lemon and mineral on the nose, and lots of elegant citrus flavors on the palate. The finish is light and dry with very little sugar. Since this wine is on the dry side, it's ideal to serve with fish and light pasta dishes.

Hewitson LuLu Sauvignon Blanc '12

Hewitson LuLu Sauvignon Blanc '12

From Adelaide Hills, one of Australia's best regions for growing Sauvignon Blanc, Hewitson LuLu Sauvignon Blanc '12 is an excellent wine. Since it's grown in a relatively cool climate, this wine displays many of the same characteristics that French Sauvignon Blancs are known for. It's acidic and not at all sweet, and has a slight greenish hue that suits the grassy flavors this grape is known for. In addition, this wine has notes of tropical fruit that pack a powerful punch upfront before backing off to allow the crisp finish to come through.

Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc '12

Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc '12

The perfect balance between Old World tradition and New World spunk, Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc '12 is one of the best Sauvignon Blancs out there. This wine is pale yellow in color, with just a hint of green. The nose has citrus peel, ginger, stone, and white flower. Citrus, mineral, and fresh herbs dominate on the palate, which starts of juicy and finishes dry and acidic. This is a bold wine that pairs well with a wide variety of foods, especially fried seafood and strong cheeses.

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is a non-vintage wine with great complexity and incredible consistency. Blended from grapes harvested over the past 14 years, this wine has a bold flavor that doesn't change perceptibly from one year to the next. The aroma has notes of tropical fruit and herb, while the palate shows off the acidity and fruit forward qualities that this grape is known for. Though it's a little on the sweeter side at first sip, the finish is nice and dry with a big kick of acidity. Unlike many vintage Sauvignon Blancs that may benefit from a few years in the cellar, this wine is at its peak now and ready to enjoy right away.

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc '12

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc '12

Grown in the mild climate of Marlborough, New Zealand, Framingham Sauvignon Blanc '12 is our favorite high-end Sauvignon. This wine is well-balanced, with pronounced minerality and lots of vibrant fruit on the nose. In order to add to its complexity, Framingham aged some of this vintage in oak barrels, which gives it bolder flavors and greater complexity. A gold medal winner, and a wine that's highly regarded by critics, this wine is incredibly well-crafted and will benefit from a couple years in the cellar, reaching its peak in 2016.

Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc '12

Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc '12

Grown in the warmer climate of California's Napa Valley, Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc '12 is an excellent wine with a touch of sweetness. Flavors of vanilla and marshmallow help to offset this naturally acidic wine, while aromas of citrus and ripe fruit make this a well-rounded, complex wine. 2012 was an excellent year in Northern California, with an increased yield of many small-sized grapes. Since the grapes didn't grow too big, the flavors remained concentrated, leading to intensely flavorful wines.

Cakebread Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc '12

Cakebread Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc '12

With a name as sweet as Cakebread, it should be no surprise that this winery's Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc '12 has the perfect balance between sweet fruit flavors and crisp acidity. Grown in the mild climate of Northern California, the grapes used in this wine have been able to develop the rich tropical fruit flavors characteristic of of Sauvignon Blanc grown at warmer latitudes. The aromas of citrus, kiwi, cantaloupe, vanilla and spice are big and bold, and the flavors of apple, guava, melon, grapefruit, and stone are richly complex and well-balanced. Over this next few years, this wine will continue to develop, and as good as it is now, it's bound to get even better over the next 3-5 years.

Robert Oatley Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc '11

Robert Oatley Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc '11

Made by one of the biggest names in Australian wines, Robert Oatley Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc '11 is one of our Best Picks. Grown in the mild climate of Western Australia, this wine showcases all the best qualities of the grape. It has the flavors of freshly cut grass and citrus peel, and the aromas of tropical fruit that are typical of Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in cool climates. This is also an intensely acidic, dry wine that pairs superbly with fresh fish or light pasta dishes. Well-loved by critics and connoisseurs alike, this wine has scored in the mid-90s and has received a number of awards.

Stag's Leap Sauvignon Blanc '12

Stag's Leap Sauvignon Blanc '12

One of California's premier wine makers, Stag's Leap makes an incredible Sauvignon Blanc. This winery has been working with Sauvignon Blanc grapes for over 30 years and has perfected the art of making well-balanced wines that are crisp and clean, and that showcase all the best qualities of cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc. Citrus peel dominates the nose of this wine, while flavors of gooseberry and herbs play out in the flavor. With a score of 92 points from Wine Enthusiast, the 2012 is the best vintage in mane years and a wine that promises to get even better as it ages over the next couple years.

Crystal Beran
Crystal Beran has spent the past 10 years immersed in the exciting and delicious world of food and drink. She has honed her cooking skills as a baker, a caterer, and a personal chef, and currently spends a good deal of her time training the next generation of young chefs. Her work as a wine steward has helped her to develop a discerning palate and a love of excellent wines from all over the world. Over the years, she has had the good fortune to visit wineries in Northern California, Tanzania, France, and Italy. In her spare time, she brews beer and invents delectable dishes to share with friends, family, and students.
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