When in the throws of a hot spring and summer, I often turn to Sauvignon Blanc for wine solace.
Most of us are probably familiar with domestic Sauvignon Blanc and the prototype Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand. Maybe a little less well-known here are the classic Sauvignon Blancs from France.
The Sauvignon Blanc varietal originates in France's Loire Valley, where Sauvignon Blanc-based Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre are made. French Sauvignon Blanc tends to be much less herbal than that of New Zealand, with a firm mineral backbone. Still, there is a noticeable grassy element; it's just not as pronounced as in New World wines, which I find to be less subtle.
French Sauvignon Blanc also skews pricier than its Kiwi cousin, but can be well worth the money spent. One of my favorites lately has been Château Reynon Sauvignon Blanc
($15.99) from Bordeaux, which offers up tropical fruit and lemony flavors; not too grassy. I found it to be an excellent partner for shrimp risotto with fresh English peas.
Another fave is Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Château du Nozay
($33.99). This biodynamically-produced wine is elegant, with lots of finesse. It's a steely rendition of Sauvignon Blanc, flinty and a bit racy; it will get better with age.
Another excellent French Sauvignon Blanc is Domaine Michael Thomas Sancerre
($26.51), a gold medal winner from Le Concours Mondial du Sauvignon. It's citrus-charged, with nice white peach flavors - perfect for pairing with chèvre
If you're looking for something new, refreshing and crisp to try this spring and summer, take a look at French Sauvignon Blanc.