The wild white wine

winesancerre

Posted on: 4th April, 2016

Category: The Wine Buff

Contributor: Tony Eklof

Tony Eklof, originally from New England, has settled in Clonakilty after a career as a librarian at University College Dublin. His knowledge and passion for wine has been inspired by frequent visits to the wine growing regions of the continent, particularly Italy and France.

Otherwise know as Sauvignon Blanc. Oz Clarke says the grape, more than any other, is ‘leader of the love it or loathe it pack’. I have to confess that until recently I was pretty much a member of the latter group. This month I have tasted two very different versions of Sauvignon and have to say I will be more openminded about this varietal in the future. (See recommendations.)

Sauvignon originated in the Bordeaux region and is characterised by tangy, acidic, herbaceous, grassy, grapefruit, lime and gooseberry notes.

It is very ‘in your face’ compared to Chardonnay and is hardly ever oak-aged. It is combined with the more toned-down Semillon grape for most white wine produced in Bordeaux. It is fascinating to learn that back in the 1970s a majority of the vineyards in Bordeaux were for white wine cultivation whereas today the statistic is only around 12 per cent, as Bordeaux’s fine wine reputation becomes increasingly dependent on red wine. This is perhaps regrettable, as new methods and competition from abroad have meant that ‘Bordeaux has become one of France’s most exciting white wine areas.’

In Bordeaux, most of the fine Sauvignon-based dry white wine comes from the areas of Entre Deux Mer (between the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers), from Graves or from Pessac Leognan. Its finest sweet manifestation is Sauternes.

It was in the neighbouring Loire region that Sauvignon really came to prominence, due mainly to the fine benchmark whites from Sancerre.

It is said that Sancerre was very popular in the bars and bistros of Paris and other French cities and towns because it drinks very well without food.

Today’s popularity of the grape stems from a different country altogether. In the late 1980s and 1990s, there was something of a Sauvignon revival, sparked by New Zealand wines, which were crisp, bright, refreshing and relatively affordable. Today, most outlets carry numerous NZ whites at a wide price spectrum. Perhaps the most famous NZ Sauvignon is the pricey Cloudy Bay, although be careful, there are a number of imitations with similar brand names about!

Other regions producing good Sauvignon base whites include California, South Africa, Chile and Australia.

Finally and to quote my wine guru Oz Clarke again, ‘there’s no more thirst-quenching wine than a snappy, crunchy young Sauvignon Blanc. Let’s celebrate it.’ I’m not sure that it will ever replace Chardonnay in my white wine heart, but I am beginning to see new light.

westcorkwinebuff@gmail.com

Recommendations:

Cooper’s Creek Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, 2014. New into SuperValu Clonakilty — introductory price €12. Range also includes a white Albarino usually associated with Galicia in Spain, and a good looking Pinot Noir (red.)

Citadelle Ducypres Sauvignon 2014.Lidl, €8.99. Lovely crisp white from one of my favourite areas (Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux) a region more commonly known for good value red Bordeaux.

(The Pouilly Fume on offer in Lidl is also great value Sauvignon.)

Both of these wines are best just lightly chilled.

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What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to www.cope-foundation.ie/donate. We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

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Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
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REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

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