Exclusively Sauvignon Blanc
Exciting Additions from New Zealand and California
A trio of exceptional Sauvignon Blanc introductions over the last year set the stage for equally exceptional retail and restaurant operators to capitalize on the explosive growth of the category. Each offers a unique expression of the varietal and breaks new ground in its own way.
Let’s explore three of the newest fine wines you may have on shelf, on your menu or, soon, on your wish list.
SAINT CLAIR FAMILY ESTATE ORIGIN SERIES SAUVIGNON BLANC
Available for the first time this year in limited quantities, Saint Clair Family Estate Origin Series Sauvignon Blanc represents the best of the varietal from the winery that set the standard. This legendary wine delivers classic New Zealand style plus an intriguing and unique pro le that sets it apart from most other wines in the category.
Thanks to the legacy of founders Neal and Judy Ibbotson, who were among the first to plant vineyards in Marlborough, Origin Series benefits from incredible grape sourcing and extensive regional knowledge. Each year, the Saint Clair team conducts blind taste tests of wine lots from each vineyard site – sometimes down to individual blocks – to grade and rank which are providing the highest-quality, most flavorful grapes for that vintage. Only wine lots with the highest scores are chosen for the Origin Series.
Origin Series is made primarily from fruit grown in a specific sub-region of Marlborough’s lower Wairau Valley known as Dillons Point, which consistently delivers superior quality. Located near the mouth of the Wairau River as it empties into Marlborough Sound, the vineyard sites have uniformly deep, free-draining soils with layers of mineral salts, giving the wine its hint of salinity. Grapes from Dillons Point offers highly concentrated fruit notes of passion fruit and guava while retaining the herbaceous notes of green bell pepper, fresh-cut grass and zesty acidity of Marlborough.
ORIN SWIFT BLANK STARE
For an eye-catchingly elusive option, look no further than Orin Swift Blank Stare. The 2016 vintage marks the brand’s first Sauvignon Blanc dedicated to the fruit notes of cool-climate growing region in the Russian River Valley. Experience citrusy grapefruit and fresh-cut grass, matched with warmer notes of peach, pear and fig. It’s finished with Orin Swift’s plush and opulent winemaking signature.
“Ripeness is very much part of winemaker Dave Phinney’s style,” says Nigel Sneyd, Master of Wine. “And it’s also oak-fermented. He’s bringing together several complex elements, without the intensity of Sauvignon Blanc that you would get from New Zealand.”
Blank Stare is a blend of 95% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Semillon, a supporting variety often used in French Sauvignon Blanc. One of the things that makes this Semillon unique is its source. Orin Swift sourced the Semillon from 127-year-old vines on a single block at the Monte Rosso Vineyard. While 60% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel, 40% is barrel fermented in French oak, giving the wine hints of dried herbs and toast.
WILLIAM HILL ESTATE NAPA VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC
Another inaugural vintage from 2016, William Hill Estate Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is deeply layered and exquisitely balanced. This wine offers density and weight on the palate while retaining bright acidity and hints of minerality. It has expressive notes of passion fruit, white peach, honeydew and guava and a creamy texture.
A leading expert in another flagship Napa Valley varietal, Chardonnay, Winemaker Mark Williams isn’t afraid to make what he enjoys in order to share it with others.
“I love Sauvignon Blanc in the summertime,” Mark said during a recent interview on The Wine Down by Wine Dialogues. “It’s a great, refreshing white.”
William Hill Estate Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is shaped by slow and cool fermentation that preserves bright aromatics, textural richness and layered fruit complexity. It’s primarily fermented in stainless steel. To build mouthfeel and texture rather than the traditional varietal character, Mark and his team ferment some lots in barrels or concrete eggs for additional lees contact, creaminess and layered complexity.
GROWING YOUR SAUVIGNON BLANC BUSINESS
Helping consumers discover a Sauvignon Blanc that ts their personal taste profile has been key to its success in the U.S. market, and we believe it’s the key to driving incremental sales with your discerning customer base. Here are three tools you can use to educate your staff and help customers discover premium Sauvignon Blanc wines like those featured in this article:
Find out more about the latest trends in Sauvignon Blanc sales, especially at Ultra Premium and above segments — in “The Rich Diversity of Sauvignon Blanc.”
Help customers explore Sauvignon Blanc through the New Zealand and California winemaking styles. Learn more about how to guide this and other consumer journeys through regional wine styles with our “Let Your Palate Be Your Guide” program. You’ll find it in the Campaign Toolkit section of winedialogues.com.
You may also enjoy our interactive tasting webinar featuring wines from this article. As suggested in Cathy Huyghe’s article “Captivating Consumers with Video,” we invite you to share this video with your customers and employees via email or social media in order to increase their Sauv Blanc savvy. Need it in a different format or length? Email your rep to discuss how we can provide useful video content to you.
INTERESTED IN MORE INSIGHTS? Register for our next webinar.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS REGARDING E. & J. GALLO WINERY BRANDS, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE.