With almost 300,000 acres of Sauvignon Blanc planted worldwide, this multifaceted variety has solidified itself as one of the most popular white-wine grapes for winemakers and wine lovers alike. It is extremely versatile in style and terroir expression, and examples range from the typically dry, mineral-driven wines of the Old World to the often intensely tropical and citrusy explosions found in the New World.
Regions like France’s Loire Valley and Marlborough, New Zealand, might have put Sauvignon Blanc on the radars of many savvy Sauvy consumers, but delicious bottlings are made all around the globe. From other Old World appellations in Italy and Austria to New World areas of California, Chile and South Africa, this wild white doesn’t show signs of being tamed any time soon.
Here are 25 recent releases to get you started on a tour of Sauvignon Blanc’s varied beauty.
New World Bottles
Robert Mondavi 2014 Fumé Blanc (Oakville); $40, 94 points. A blend of 79% Sauvignon Blanc and 21% Sémillon barrel fermented largely in 60-gallon French oak barrels, this is a well-integrated and substantial offering of sublime texture, length and complexity. Jasmine aromas ride atop fresh, vibrant layers of Meyer lemon and nectarine, a stony mineral element persistent on the finish.—Virginie Boone
Clos Henri 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $27, 93 points. This is an opulent style, sourced entirely from the estate’s Greywacke river stone soil. It conjures images of sun-ripened apples, just fallen from trees, resting in the green grass, and a nearby stream weaving its way over rocks and stones. A kinetic line of acidity cuts through all the richness, leading into an endlessly long apple and stone finish. Savor this beauty now or cellar it till 2026, if you can bear the wait. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. Cellar Selection.—Christina Pickard
Chalk Hill 2016 Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc (Chalk Hill); $33, 93 points. This pretty wine is floral and beguiling on the nose. It was blended with 11% Sauvignon Gris and 6% Sauvignon Musqué, with the whole barrel fermented and aged in both French oak and stainless steel drums. Creamy and lush on the palate, the medium body is integrated and complex in highlights of apricot, lime and peach.—V.B.
Loveblock 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $22, 92 points. Loveblock is the label of Erica and Kim Crawford, former owners of one of New Zealand’s most famous brands. Their latest Sauvignon Blanc from organically grown fruit displays subtlety and complexity. The nose is a soft synthesis of peach, cantaloupe, lemon-lime, watermelon rind and warm stone minerality, while the palate is all about texture. It’s tight, structured and chalky, with prickly acidity and a long citrus and mineral finish. Drink now with an array of seafood and salad dishes. Terlato Wines International. Editors’ Choice.—C.P.
J. Scott Cellars 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Oregon); $18, 91 points. From one of a handful of Oregon wineries working with Sauvignon Blanc, this wine focuses on the natural, herbaceous pungency of the grape. The palate is ripe in pineapple, apple and melon flavors, giving an appealing, round feel. Touches of hibiscus and honey trail on the finish. Editors’ Choice.—Paul Gregutt
Novelty Hill 2016 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley); $20, 91 points. Blended with 16% Sémillon, pleasing aromas of kiwi, lemongrass, candle wax, citrus, lees and poached pear lead to the full-bodied, textured palate. It shows an exquisite sense of balance along with a fig-filled finish. Editors’ Choice.—Sean P. Sullivan
Tokara 2017 Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc (Elgin); $25, 91 points. There’s a pleasant herbal edge that’s reminiscent of fresh-cut grass, white asparagus and lemon verbena on the nose of this wine, backed by notes of yellow plum and preserved lemon. The medium-weight mouth offers superb concentration of citrus, pepper and minty fynbos characteristics that are countered by ample acidity and a slight astringent, textured pithiness to the lingering finish. It’s hard to resist now, but should continue to hold well through 2021. Dreyfus, Ashby & Co. Editors’ Choice.—Lauren Buzzeo
Yealands 2017 S1 Single Block Sauvignon Blanc (Awatere Valley); $30, 91 points. This is a flinty, medium to full-bodied wine, bursting with notes of white grapefruit, lime, fresh green beans, matchstick and toasted nut aromas. The palate is focused and tightly wound, with more flinty, nutty, limey and grassy goodness. Drink now–2023. Palm Bay International.—C.P.
Viña Leyda 2017 Single Vineyard Garuma Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley); $20, 90 points. This Sauvignon Blanc from coastal Leyda Valley 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. MundoVino–The Winebow Group.—Michael Schachner
Greywacke 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $23, 90 points. A wallflower when compared to other, more aggressively aromatic Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs, this wine offers hints of citrus, stone fruit, flowers and grass on the nose. The palate is of most interest here: It’s linear and chalky yet slippery in feel, with a fair lick of acidity that’s just barely balanced by fruit and florals. Old Bridge Cellars. —C.P.
Paumanok 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (North Fork of Long Island); $25, 90 points. Brisk notes of lemon, pineapple rind and peach kick off this zesty, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. Round in feel, the palate is plump in tropical fruit and melon tones, with a persistent line of grapefruit acidity maintaining focus. The finish lingers on a light chalky note. Editors’ Choice.—Alexander Peartree
High Valley Vineyard 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (High Valley); $27, 90 points. This well-balanced wine from high-elevation Lake County has everything in the right proportions: fresh herb and citrus aromas, lip-smacking, crisp fruit flavors, a generous texture and lingering finish.—Jim Gordon
Indaba 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Western Cape); $12, 89 points. This crisp, clean white offers upfront scents of freshly dried grass, orange peel, lemon custard and fresh mint. The palate shows great balance between the flavors of ripe apple flesh, strawberry hull and bright, citrusy acidity, while the herbal inflections return to accent the medium-length finish. Drink now. Cape Classics. Best Buy.—L.B.
Old World Bottles
Château Carbonnieux 2015 Pessac-Léognan; $40, 95 points. This wine has a wonderful citrus character of fresh lemons and limes that meld with the mineral texture. It is crisp while also structured, bright with acidity and zesty in lemon and orange flavors. The aftertaste is herbal, crisp and bright. Drink from 2022. Cellar Selection.—Roger Voss
Pascal Jolivet 2015 Le Roc (Sancerre); $54, 95 points. The flinty soil of this vineyard has given a wine that is intense, steely and mineral in texture. Crisp citrus and gooseberry flavors are enmeshed in this spicy and taut wine. Partial aging in big barrels has added a touch of vanilla while also offering breadth to the palate. Drink from 2019. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.—R.V.
Terlan 2016 Winkl Sauvignon (Alto Adige); $35, 94 points. Aromas of hay, tomato leaf, grapefruit, Alpine herb and wet stone lead the nose of this racy, mountain Sauvignon. Bright and elegant, it delivers citrus, pineapple, apricot and flinty mineral flavors while a fennel note backs up the finish. Vibrant acidity lends balance. Banville Wine Merchants.—Kerin O’Keefe
Venica & Venica 2016 Ronco delle Mele Sauvignon (Collio); $45, 93 points. Pressed spring flower, citrus zest and dried herb aromas lead the nose of this wine. On the savory, elegant palate, a salty mineral vein underscores juicy grapefruit, honeydew melon and white peach flavors. Fresh acidity lends lift. Drink now for the bright fruit flavors or hold a few years for more complexity. Grand Cru Selections.—K.O.
Château de Tracy 2016 Pouilly-Fumé; $20, 92 points. This is the estate wine from this property, owned by the same family for 600 years. It is a rich wine, one that needs to age with its intense green and citrus fruits, a mineral texture and a touch of saltiness at the end. Drink now. Martin Scott Wines. Editors’ Choice.—R.V.
Jermann 2016 Sauvignon (Venezia Giulia); $34, 91 points. Savory, vibrant and fragrant, this has classic Sauvignon aromas of tomato vine, elderflower, grapefruit and crushed herb. The dry, linear palate boasts an intriguing blend of flavor and restraint, offering white peach, citrus and cantaloupe notes alongside bright acidity. LUX Wines.—K.O.
Bulgariana 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Thracian Valley); $12, 90 points. This straw colored Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of white flowers, green apples and freshly sliced pineapple. On the palate there are flavors of apple pie, honeydew melon and fresh lychee. It is well balanced and has a crisp and clean finish. G&B Importers. Best Buy.—Jeff Jenssen
Château La Rame 2017 Bordeaux Blanc; $16, 90 points. Strong notes of apricot and tropical fruits dominate this Sauvignon Blanc, sourced from a nine-acre vineyard. It has a rich core that is juicy, while the fresher lemon and lime flavors give it an exotic perfumed character. This full, ripe wine is delicious and ready to drink now. Rosenthal Wine Merchant. Editors’ Choice.—R.V.
Cortes de Cima 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Alentejano); $24, 90 points. This ripe tropical-fruit style of Sauvignon Blanc is delicious. It’s crisp with a citrus flavor and balanced by apricot and ripe mango tones that give the wine richness and fine perfumes. This is a food style of wine, ready to drink from 2018. Tri-Vin Imports.—R.V.
Sattlerhof 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Südsteiermark); $25, 90 points. Subtle notes of ripe lemon and nettle mingle on the nose. The palate remains resolutely light and is bright with lemon freshness, with a dry finish that closes on a herbal tisane note. Craft + Estate–The Winebow Group.—Anne Krebiehl MW
Villa Wolf 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Pfalz); $12, 89 points. Crisp peach and tangerine tones are thirst quenching in this easygoing Sauvignon Blanc. While not a deeply complex or concentrated wine, it’s nuanced by hints of grass and spice. The finish is brisk but clean. Drink now. Loosen Bros USA. Best Buy.—Anna Lee C. Iijima
Giocato 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Primorska); $13, 88 points. Notes of lemongrass, lime zest and green apple lead the way for flavors of peach and Granny Smith apple. This well-balanced wine is dry on the palate, with a delightful touch of ripe fruit on the finish. August Wine Group. Best Buy.—J.J.