Sauvignon blanc is on fire. Pedigree or brand no longer matters as much to most people as the grape’s ability to deliver a thrilling blast of citrus. You can find stellar examples of this ultimate seafood complement from many different regions of the world, each of which reflects signature terroir differences. The best, even at moderate prices, share a gutsy, mouthwatering intensity. Here are four recent blind-tasting winners.
Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2014
Hailing from the place where sauvignon mania got started, this Kiwi beauty features a green apple, grapefruit and piercing herb-like flavor. Ripe and floral, but not over the line with tropical flavors (a direction too many of its brethren have taken), this sleek beauty goes perfectly with a goat cheese salad.
$13, The Wine Emporium, Boston
Domaine Fournier Sauvignon, Vin de Pays de Loire, 2013
France is the motherland of sauvignon. Consistently delicious, this estate-bottled wine is a baby Sancerre: lemony, crisp and herbal in fragrance with undertones of wet stones and chalk. A stylish wine with classic Loire Valley finesse, this is ideal with fried clams.
$13, Beacon Hill Wine
Neil Ellis Sincerely Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, 2014
South Africa’s wines are coming on, especially with racy sauvignons that are bone dry and pack a flavor punch. Neil Ellis is one of the area’s budding stars, and this bottle is a dream come true with raw oysters or clams. Tart, minerally, clean and vibrant, this is everything sauvignon blanc aspires to be at an entry-level price.
$12, Blanchards Wines & Spirits, Boston
St. Michael-Eppan Lahn
Sauvignon, Alto Adige, 2014
One of the untold stories is how delicious northern Italian sauvignon blanc has become. This is a single-vineyard hillside wine from near the Austrian border that tastes clean and bright, with a lot of energy. It shows a clean lemon zest and earthy flavor; try it with a grilled fillet of white fish.
$17, Bauer Wine & Spirits, Boston
Sandy Block is a master of wine and the vice president of beverage operations for Legal Sea Foods.