Now that the sweltering days of summer are here, we’ve been pulling together a lot of recommendations of wines to help you cool down. We have 11 Summer Wines Under $20, Vinho Verdes to seek out and of course what’s a hot day without good rosés to cool you down.
But we haven’t forgotten about Sauvignon Blanc. This zippy and bright white wine not only pairs perfectly with watermelon, another summertime staple, but comes in a variety of bright and fresh styles that are suitable for any palate.
So, from California, New Zealand, Australia, Chile and beyond, here are some of our top, budget-friendly Sauvignon Blanc bottles.
Heritance 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley); $18, 92 points. With lasting tension and a good build-up of fresh acidity, this is a well-made white that offers fruity notes of white peach and apple. It has enough creaminess to be pleasurable on the palate, but ultimately is well built and balanced. —Virginie Boone
Nautilus 2018 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $20, 91 points. Despite battling an unusually warm and wet vintage, this producer once again delivers the goods. This wine balances tropical and stone fruit flavors with green notes of tomato leaf and nettles, alongside a saline, sea swept quality. Texturally, it’s like wet stones, with crystalline acidity that buoys the bright fruit and seashell saltiness. Negociants USA–Winebow. Editors’ Choice. —Christina Pickard
Cape Mentelle 2017 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon (Margaret River); $19, 90 points. Waxy lemon, wet wool, apple blossoms, grass and dried herbs form on the nose. The medium-bodied palate offers a chalky texture, with a lemony zing that leads to a herbal and mineral finish. This is a food friendly wine that would be tasty with goat cheese. Moët Hennessy USA. —C.P.
Clos Henri 2018 Petit Clos Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $18, 90 points. Pale-gold in color, this Sauvignon is less brightly fruited and more vegetal than in previous years, but still offers an attractive nose of gooseberries, lime leaf, tangerine, grass and florals. The palate is well balanced, with a viscous texture that’s cut through by pristine acidity and tangy fruit—a refreshing and textural drop at an affordable price. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. —C.P.
Muirwood 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Arroyo Seco); $11, 90 points. Clean aromas of lemon, guava and papaya are ripe but balanced on the nose of this bottling. There is a cement-like grip to the palate, where broad pear, apple and peach flavors are cut by crisp lime and a gravelly minerality. Best Buy. —Matt Kettmann
Paul Cluver 2018 Sauvignon Blanc (Elgin); $17, 90 points. Green plum, gooseberry, lime pith and fresh sweet grass all unfold on the nose of this varietally correct wine. Lightweight, fresh and vibrant, it boasts lime-like acidity and pleasantly tart, not mouthpuckering, green melon and plum flavors. Superfresh and vibrant, this is well balanced and easy to like. Pascal/Schildt Selections. Editors’ Choice. —Lauren Buzzeo
Two Angels 2018 Sauvignon Blanc (High Valley); $17, 90 points. Crisp, tangy and well balanced, this wine is energized by vivid citrus and herb flavors. A medium body and nicely concentrated lemon and lime notes make it extra appealing on the palate. Editors’ Choice. —Jim Gordon
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley); $11, 89 points. Aromas of pink grapefruit, tropical fruit and herb lead to broad feeling, ever so slight spritzy fruit flavors. A tart, lingering finish caps it off. Best Buy. —Sean Sullivan
Château Lamothe de Haux 2018 Bordeaux Blanc; $12, 88 points. This crisp wine is bright, tangy and full of attractive lemon flavors. A riper side suggests red apples. Drink this balanced wine now. Steep Hill Importing. Best Buy. —Roger Voss
Santa Carolina 2018 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley); $12, 87 points. Spunky aromas of grapefruit and lime are typical for Leyda SB. A fairly full palate feels a bit oily, while this is briny and mildly salty tasting, with lime as the core flavor. A steady finish with moderate fullness and bright acidity is solid. Carolina Wine Brands USA. Best Buy. —Michael Schachner