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May 23, 2012 09:39 PM

If NZ Sauvignon Blanc is Best Who's Second Best?

Lots of Sauvignon Blanc on offer but IME it all pales next to the Kiwi product-any suggestions for easily available ( a loaded term I know) product?

Does Oregon SB live up to the hype?

They want upward of $25/bottle here so I'm leery.


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  1. It really depends if you have a good wine store in your area or not. Sancerre (a french region that produces sauvignon blanc) should be available at any well stocked wine store. Ask for a rec for one that has more fruit, less grassy to start with.

    American Sauvignon Blancs tend to be all over the place, some are tropical fruit-y, some are austere. I don't really have a great rec on that front.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goldangl95

      Rochioli sauvignon blanc (Russian River Valley) is among the best from CA, if not the best. Very consistent from year to year. Around $30..

    2. The early success of NZ sauvignon blanc was its ability to capture and magnify the grassy, stony fruit of Sancerre. Return to the source for a good (estate) Sancerre and see what it's like; also in the Loire, an estate Touraine sauvignon blanc can be excellent value, and neither should be more than $20-25.

      1. While I really like Sauv Blanc from New Zealand, I know many people who don't think that highly of it. It really depends on what you personally like. For me, a good SB distinguishes itself well from Chardonnay.

        1. Interesting comments. I find NZ Sauvignon Blanc FAR from the flavor palate of Loire SB's. NZ is loads of tropical fruit, Loire's is grassy.

          I'm not a good one to give you subs, because while I don't dislike NZ Sauvignon blanc, I prefer Sancerre. and I like several from Napa Valley, too... notably St. Supery and Honig.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ChefJune

            Several of us did a comparison a while back looking for the best for get for a large social function and Honig (btw $15-20 iirc) came out on top over some of the pricier ones such as Duckhorn. Sorry can't recall the other 3-4 at the moment.

            1. re: ChefJune

              My one Sancerre botle note: mis en botteilles au chateau, App Sancerre Controlee, Chateau de Sancerre 2006, "We liked. Don't buy again, because it wiped us out." :-))

              1. re: Rella


                That is funny, but then does "hit home." I love SB's, more than my wife. Often, when I declare "Wine-Thirty," and before she arrives home, I often start by sipping SB's I find that I can do fewer ozs. of SB, without "feeling something," than some other white varietals. I do not know the "why," as almost all are fairly low in ABV. Still, the effects have been well-noted, at least by me.

                For me, and in VERY general terms, the "impairment quotient" for SB vs Chardonnay, seems about 2:1, regardless of ABV. I am not sure why, but just something that I have observed over the decades.

                Interesting that you make a point of similar.


            2. I'm with Chef June. I'll take A loire Sauvignong Blanc (Sancerre, Pouilly Fume) over Kiwi juice any day. And I find NZ sauv blancs nothing like them

              Also, readily-available domestic sauvignon blanc at $25 may be difficult. Readily-availbe under 420, yes. Not readily-available over $25, yes (Rochioli, Merry Edwards). But not so much of both.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Brad Ballinger

                Am I crazy for thinking that at least some of the original attraction to NZ sauvignon blancs was that they managed to recoup the grass/acid bite that, apparently, some Sancerrois producers were said to be moving away from? This would ave been at least 20 years ago, and now, mostly I get too many tropical NZ notes. For Sancerre, Cotat, Bourgeois, Mellot, Crochet, among other dependable houses. Pouilly -Fume can a bit better value, having slipped a little below the radar these days.

                1. re: bob96

                  For Cloudy Bay as a pioneer, I think it's a fair satement. But so many nowadays are all grapefuit and tropical flavors. For true cat piss, though, you have to go to Loire (or drink Scheurebe from the Pfalz).

                  1. re: Brad Ballinger

                    Speaking of acid from the other end of the Loire, I miss those cheapo liter bottles of Gros Plant. No fruit problems there.

                    1. re: Brad Ballinger


                      Do not forget the "damp hay" in the NZ SB's, along with the heavy grapefruit.

                      Wife loves SB's, that are more in the order of a hint of lemon, and some of lime, with her Dover Sole, and when they get to grapefruit, she passes. Same for some of the "cat's pee" offerings too.

                      I tend to think of some SB's as sippers, prior to the food, and then others, WITH foods, but it can depend heavily ON the foods.