Sauvignon Blanc is a very well known and popular white wine. New Zealand's famous Marlborough region on the South Island produces many highly aromatic examples that are enjoyed globally, yet the true home of this grape is the Loire Valley just south of Paris in France.
Great wines come from the cool climate of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé and these wines are traditionally a little (or alot) less extrovert and pungent than the New Zealand wines. The wines are usually unoaked to preserve the inherent fruity aromatics which come from compounds known as thiols and pyrazines giving passionfruit, gooseberry and grassy green characters.
In Margaret River it is often blended with Semillon as occurs in Margaret River's homoclime Bordeaux. In other regions of Australia, the cooler regions are more renowned for this grape, including the Adelaide Hills, the Great Southern and Pemberton.
This wine is truly made in the vineyard with the picking window being relatively small when compared to other varieties so when the grapes taste ready, they must be picked straight away as those flavours soon disappear again.
Some skin contact is often helpful as it releases thiols from the skins into the juice and adds aromatic intensity. Once the wines are fermenting another aid to promoting aromatics is to ferment at moderate temperatures - too cold and the aromas will be subdued and too warm means aromas become more volatile and are lost into the headspace of the tank.
At Bellarmine, to add interest to our Sauvignon Blanc, we allow skin contact, use moderate fermentation temperatures, and also stir the wine on light yeast lees after fermentation to add texture and depth to the wine. We take alot of care to make a characterful wine which can age for a few years.