Despite being one of the world’s most popular whites, there’s a fairly heavy stigma surrounding Sauvignon Blanc. James Agnew, former chair of NSW Wine Strategy once called it “...the McDonalds of wine”. One-dimensional, overly-acidic, angular, and too heavy on the passionfruit are just a few of the more common Sauv-related complaints. In spite of this, Oyster Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand is Australia’s number one best-selling white wine. So how can this be the case?
The Technical Stuff
An indigenous grape from the Bordeaux region of France, the name Sauvignon Blanc translates to ‘wild white’. Now planted in most of the major wine-producing regions in the world, flavour profiles can vary significantly depending on climate and terroir. Cool climate sauvs tend to produce a higher acidity, alongside ‘greener’ flavours of grass, herbs, capsicum, and nettles. Warmer climates often lead to more tropical flavours, such as passion fruit or kiwi.
Sauvignon Blanc in Australia
Bright, punchy New Zealand Sauv Blancs came into Australia just as the world’s love affair with Chardonnay was crashing and burning. Australian Chardonnay had become too big and too oily; a result of malolactic fermentation that affords the varietal that buttery quality. Oversaturation of this style, possibly exacerbated by Kath & Kim’s ‘cardonnay’, led people towards a crisper, fruiter style that they found in Sauvignon Blanc.
Much like Chardonnay, punchy, passionfruit-heavy Sauvs may well become a victim of their own success. As is the case with most varieties, evolution is key, and present-day Sauvignon Blanc has evolved from its kiwi and passionfruit predecessor to a cleaner, fresher model.
Stainless-steel fermented, our Provenance Sauvignon Blanc has achieved the perfect middle-ground. Delicate elderflower and citrus aromas are delightfully balanced by a soft palate of tangerine and marzipan. Our little splash of sunshine as the days get colder, this Sauv could convert even the most stubborn of chardonnay drinkers. Easy-drinking and very approachable, the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc pairs exceptionally well with fresh seafood and light, tangy salad dishes.
You might notice that our Sauvignon Blanc is not from the Granite Belt this year. ‘Provenance’, as we have chosen to rename the collection, implies a place of origin, or as we see it, the beginning of a new existence. Each hand-crafted, single-varietal bottle, appreciates and expresses the premium vineyards from which it was sourced.
2019 was a challenging year for the Australian Wine Industry. Drought affected a significant impact upon harvest volumes, with the Granite Belt region suffering a reduction that saw less than 5 percent of expected yields make it to harvest. So that we might adequately account for such a significant deficit, we have had to seek additional sources of fruit in other premium wine regions. For the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc, we sourced fruit from South Australia.
So forget every preconception of Sauv you might ever have had. Whether you’re a novice to the wonderful world of wine, or a seasoned and knowledgeable veteran, we urge you to give the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc a go. If you were a fan of its predecessor, the Granite Belt Sauvignon Blanc, we can promise everything and more in its new baby sibling.