Sunday 23 October 2016

Wine: Chile's cool Sauvignon

Published 05/04/2015 | 02:30

Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Outer Limits, Zapallar Vineyard, Montes, Colchagua 12.5pc
Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Outer Limits, Zapallar Vineyard, Montes, Colchagua 12.5pc
Sauvignon Blanc 2012, EQ Coastal, Matetic, Casablanca 14pc

Sauvignon Blanc is the wine of our time because it is ready to enjoy immediately after it is bottled. We are impatient - around 96pc of the wine we buy is consumed within four hours. However, while Sauvignon peaks early, it also fades fast. To sample Sauvignon Blanc at its best, look for the most recent vintages, ideally within two years of the harvest year on the bottle.

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This shortlist from a blind-tasting of Sauvignon Blancs from Chile over €13, shows the style is midway between the pungent and herbaceous green pea character of New Zealand and the mineral and citrus style from its native France in the Loire's Sancerre village and Pouilly-Fumé.

Sauvignon Blanc loves a cool climate. In Chile, the best examples are planted near the cool sea currents along the Pacific west coast at Leyda, Casablanca, San Antonio and the western part of Colchagua.

1) Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Outer Limits, Zapallar Vineyard, Montes, Colchagua 12.5pc

Intense aromas of bruised basil leaves, lime zest and mineral. Salty and minerally terroir of the single vineyard underpin the lemon juice and perfumed passion fruit sorbet palate. Serve simply with a platter of oysters.

€22.99 at The Malt House, Trim and World Wide Wines, Waterford.

2) Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Classic Series, Montes, Casablanca 12.5pc

Scents of freshly mown grass. Zesty and pithy grapefruit with a mineral and lime finish. Made for a risotto verde, greened with fresh asparagus, peas and spinach.

€14.99 at Manning's Emporium, Ballylickey and in Dublin: Donnybrook Fair; Martin's, Fairview and Mitchell & Son, CHQ at IFSC and Glasthule.

3) Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marques de Casa Concha, Leyda 13pc

Muted aromas. Crunchy green apple sappiness and freshly squeezed lime juice tingle the taste buds and a pithy finish. Enjoy with smoked haddock fishcakes and a white onion sauce.

€15 at Tesco nationwide.

4) Sauvignon Blanc 2012, EQ Coastal, Matetic, Casablanca 14pc

Vegetal aromas. Full-bodied alcohol hidden by pithy and Sancerre-like salty mineral palate. Serve with sushi.

€15.99 at Wines on the Green, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 and Florrie's, Tramore.

5) Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Cartagena, Lo Abarca, San Antonio 13.5pc

Muted aromas. Mineral and salty elegance with a Pouilly-Fumé-like flintiness. Works brilliantly with bitter leaf salads: endive, rocket and radicchio topped with goats' cheese.

and walnuts.

€16.50 at Searson's, Monkstown and

6) Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2014, Secret de Viu Manent, Casablanca 13.5pc

Elderflowers and passion fruit fragrance. Salty mineral. Crisp green apple skins and lemon zest. Try with tempura-battered prawns.

€16.99-€17.99 at Holland's, Bray; Cashel Wine Cellar, Co. Tipperary and Callan's Dundalk. In Dublin: Baggot Street Wines and The Coach House, Ballinteer.

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