The Lismore Sauvignon Blanc Tasting

by Tim Atkin
The fourth annual Lismore tasting, pitching South Africa against the rest of the world, focused on wooded Sauvignon Blanc and white Bordeaux blends. In previous editions we have looked at...
92

2016 Dog Point Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

( £13.50, 13%, The Wine Society )

There’s always something of a rush to list and sell the new vintage of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, so it’s good to see a winery (and a retailer in the shape of the Wine Society) that takes a more relaxed approach to vintages, selling wines with a bit of bottle age. Tangy, savoury and dry, this is a complex, flinty, well balanced white with no oak, allowing the quince, greengage and gooseberry fruit to shine.

BuyDrinking window: 2017-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Sauvignon Blanc
93

2016 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

( £14.99, 13, New Zealand House of Wine, The New Zealand Cellar )

Kevin Judd is arguably the most famous exponent of Sauvignon Blanc on the planet, thanks to his work at Cloudy Bay and subsequently at his own Marlborough winery, Greywacke. He certainly knows how to invest the variety with considerable complexity, using wild yeasts to add extra nuances to the exotic lime, gooseberry and stone fruit flavours. Long and very satisfying.

BuyDrinking window: 2017-19Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Sauvignon Blanc
91

2015 Château de la Parenchère, Bordeaux

( £11.30, 13.5%, Peter Osbourne Fine Wines )

Made for the first time in 2006, this was grafted over from Cabernet Franc vines to produce a blend of Sauvignon Blanc with 20% Semillon and 15% Muscadelle. Proving that you don’t need a swanky address in Pessac-Léognan to make tasty Bordeaux Blanc, it’s tangy, aromatic and sappy with hints of struck match and grapefruit and a waxy, herbal undertone from the Semillon. 

BuyDrinking window: 2016-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Sauvignon Blanc
91

2012 Clos Floridene, Graves, Bordeaux

( £17.99, 13%, The Co-operative )

Denis Dubordieu deserves his reputation as one of the best white winemakers in Bordeaux. Clos Floridène is a case in point, a textbook blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a dash of Muscadelle that benefits from 25% barrel fermentation. Tangy, fresh and grapefruity, this has subtle oak, good texture and minerally flourish. 

Drinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
92

2012 Pegasus Bay, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Waipara Valley

( £15, 14.5%, New Generation Wines )

There aren’t many producers around the world who can make Bordeaux blends to rival the stuff that’s made in Pessac-Léognan, but Pegasus Bay is one of them. This delicately oaked, full-bodied cuvée is rich and sumptuous, with waxy, herbal flavours, a hint of vanilla and a tangy, refeshing finish. On past form, this should age well too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon

Blank de Blanc

by Simon Woolf
Browsing the wine selection at Bordeaux airport is revealing. Unsurprisingly, the grand vins of the Médoc, St. Emilion and Pomerol take up most of the shelf space, with some more...
91

2014 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

( N/A, 13.5% )

Is Cloudy Bay finally back on form after several lacklustre vintages? So it would appear from this latest release. It’s still a little pricey for what it is, but it’s appealingly fresh and refined, with subtle nettle and gooseberry fruit, a hint of struck match and a long, tapering finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Sauvignon Blanc
90

2013 A l'Envers, Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux

( £12, 12.5%, Tesco )

Made by David Hohnen, the Aussie who created Cloudy Bay Sauvignon, and British Master of Wine Clem Yates, this is a tangy, smoky, reductive style with notes of struck match, citrus and pink grapefruit. It doesn’t taste like a Kiwi Sauvignon, but that’s no bad thing. Taut and refreshing, it shows that Hohnen hasn’t lost his touch with Sauvignon. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, White, Sauvignon Blanc