Sauvignon Blanc is produced all over the world and it’s easy to see why. Its wide array of flavor profiles and light-bodied nature make it an easy sipper, perfect for pairing with a number of meals such as grilled chicken, seafood dishes and of course, many kinds of cheese.
But because it’s so popular and the base of some of the best wines, selecting a bottle can quickly become a costly and overwhelming endeavor. So we’ve narrowed it down for you, with a list of exceptional bottles that can be bought on a budget.
Textbook 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley); $20, 92 points. Dark gold in color, this is an inviting white wine, light and fresh with highlights of peach Melba and honeysuckle. Tahitian vanilla adds a note of balanced richness that rewards the palate with substance and grace.—Virginie Boone
Sightglass 2017 Artz Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Red Mountain); $20, 91 points. Fermented in stainless steel and aged on the lees for a month, this leads with compelling aromas of sweet herb, melon, citrus, and tropical fruit. The sleek palate bursts with fruit flavors, framed by lively acidity. Editors’ Choice.—Sean P. Sullivan
Blue Victorian Winery 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Suisun Valley); $24, 91 points. Lively fruit flavors and a little richness in the texture make a good combination for this full-bodied wine that tastes lightly oaky while balanced by a flood of grapefruit and lime. Made with 15% new oak and 8% Verdelho grapes, It is mouth filling and refreshing at the same time, which is a great combination.—Jim Gordon
Vie Winery 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County); $24, 91 points. This wine yields ripe citrus, melon and vanilla aromas, along with waxy minerally notes that add delicious complexity. It’s technically light-bodied in terms of alcohol but fills out the palate nicely and lingers on the finish, echoing oak spice and mineral tones.—J.G.
Black Stallion 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley); $20, 90 points. This is a bright fresh white that shows a nice complement of dried herb and lemongrass with juicier, more concentrated flavors of white peach and melon. Elegantly crafted, it has a lushness to the palate that’s lengthy and complex.—V.B.
Viña Leyda 2017 Single Vineyard Garuma Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley); $20, 90 points. This Sauvignon Blanc from coastal Leyda boasts crisp, pure citrus and oceanic aromas. It’s tight and firm on the palate, with citrus, sea salt and green herb flavors that finish smooth and round despite bold acidity.—Michael Schachner
Hawley 2017 Hopkins River Ranch Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley); $23, 90 points. Dark in color, this is a pretty wine, intensely aromatic in jasmine, anise and fresh flavors of white peach and green apple. Medium bodied, it has some oomph to the palate but is balanced.—V.B.
Vigilance 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Red Hills Lake County); $25, 90 points. Smooth and flavorful, this wine has plenty of pear and light herb aromas. Light spice, mineral and melon flavors offer a good sense of layering on the palate, all leading to a generous mouthfeel and lingering finish.—J.G.
Viola 2016 Allegre Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Gorge (OR)); $25, 90 points. This is made in an especially leesy, mineral-drenched style, which sets it apart from the vast majority of new world Sauvignon Blancs. Its immaculate lime skin, grapefruit, pineapple and fresh herb flavors combine in a most refreshing way.—P.G.
Concha y Toro 2017 Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Ribera del Rapel Sauvignon Blanc (Colchagua Valley); $17, 89 points. This wine’s fresh lime and grapefruit aromas are simple but lively. Crisp acidity and tang define its lean, racy palate. Orange, lime and green herb flavors linger on the finish, with a note of thyme. Excelsior Wines.—M.S.