Sauvignon Blanc from Around the World

By Kori ~ May 8th, 2009.

Sauvignon Blanc has been one of our favorite white varieties for years. Our trip to New Zealand in 2005 solidified that love, and we have a soft spot for Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. While not for everyone, we just cannot get enough of the grapefruit flavors and crisp acidity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Since that trip, we have made it a point to try Sauvignon Blanc from other countries/regions when we have the chance. No matter how much we like a wine or type of wine, we are always looking to expand our palates and seek out even more great wine.

Sauvignon Blanc: 2008 Kim Crawford, 2008 Warwick Professor Black, 2008 Porcupine Ridge, 2007 RuedOn Mom and Dad’s recent trip to South Africa, they discovered the 2008 Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc that they thought was every bit as good as our favorites from New Zealand. They were anxious to see what Colby and I thought of it and to see how it would stack up in a blind tasting. Also on their South Africa trip, Mom and Dad enjoyed visiting Boekenhoutskloof and wanted us to try their second label, Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, which is available in the U.S. for around $10.

In typical Wine Peeps fashion, we recently sat down for a blind tasting to compare four Sauvignon Blancs from around the world. We put in one of our all-time favorites, the 2008 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, as well as the recently discovered Warwick Professor Black and Porcupine Ridge. We wanted to include an American Sauvignon Blanc also. About that time, we received a sample of the 2007 Rued Sauvignon Blanc from the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, California, and decided to throw it into the mix.

As you’ll see from the notes below, we rated both the Kim Crawford and the Warwick Professor Black as 4.5 stars. They are both truly outstanding wines. In terms of ranking order, the Kim Crawford came out on top by just a hair.

Both the Porcupine Ridge and Rued are good wines, too. They were just up against some stiff competition in this tasting. I was especially glad to see how lively and pleasant the Rued was in stark contrast to many of the over-oaked California Sauvignon Blancs I’ve tasted in the past.

So depending on the style of Sauvignon Blanc that suits you, I think that you could easily find one of these four wines to your liking.

2008 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand): Extremely aromatic. Beautiful grapefruit on the nose. More grapefruit, lime, and other citrus fruits come through on the palate. Well-balanced with a long finish. Very distinctive and crisp.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Costco (Seattle), $14; Available elsewhere, $12 to $16

2008 Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc (Stellenbosch, South Africa): Aromatic and flavorful. Lemon and lime aromas lead to flavors of grapefruit and lime. Medium-bodied and crisp. Well-balanced.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Wine Exchange (California), $14.99; Available elsewhere, $14 to $21

2008 Porcupine Ridge [Boekenhoutskloof] Sauvignon Blanc (Franschoek, South Africa): Freshly cut grass prevalent on the nose. Flavorful with tart, green apple flavors. Medium-bodied with a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Esquin Wine Merchants (Seattle), $10; Available elsewhere, $8 to $12

2007 Rued Sauvignon Blanc (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California): Aromas of Clorox and peaches. Medium-bodied and lively with flavors of vanilla and peaches. Tastes much better than it smells. A very pleasant wine.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $16; Winery, $16

Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, New Zealand Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, South African Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Mike | May 8th, 2009 at 8:18 am

    great post

  2. WineLife365 | July 28th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Nice Post Kori!
    I too have a soft spot for Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. I also agree that the 2008 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is tough to beat for under $20.

    Thank you for bringing the 2008 Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc to my attention. I plan on trying it!

    On a side note, have you had the opportunity to taste the 2008 St. Supery, Villa Maria “Private Bin” Sauvignon Blanc or Jolivet (Pascal) Sancerre from the Loire Valley? I would be curious to get your thoughts on them as well.


  3. Kori | July 29th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks, Mark. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to try any of those three. I’ll have to keep my eye out for them. Cheers!

  4. WineLife365 | August 5th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Kori,
    I was able to get my hands on a bottle of the 2008 Porcupine Ridge. Sadly however, I didn’t enjoy this wine at all. I found it to be pretty far off the mark from competitively priced French, NZ and even some US versions. I still want to try the 2008 Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc though.


  5. Kori | August 5th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Hi Mark,
    Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the Porcupine Ridge. I hope that you’re able to find the Warwick Professor Black; I’d love to hear what you think of it. As you can see from the Quality ratings above, we thought it was on par with Kim Crawford and found both better than the Porcupine Ridge. Cheers!