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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Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
email bandonwalledtown@gmail.com
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

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