Sauvignon Blanc B

@ Gilles Cattiau / INRA

Sauvignon is a grape variety native to the Southwest. Its budding and foliage bring it close to the Folloids but its wild taste identifies it with the Carmenets. It was and remains very cultivated in the Central France (Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire) and the Loire Valley. In Bordeaux, it was reserved for the production of sweet wines and has spread in the Southwest for the production of dry white wine.

Sauvignon is a grape variety that is widespread in the vineyards of the Southwest, the Loire Valley and Sancerre.

Some regional synonyms are Blanc Fumé, Sauternes, Fié and Savagnou in Béarn (which could be written Saouvignon, wild wine).

Sauvignon’s wild taste is typical of its dry white wines, but disappears when over-ripe in its sweet wines.

Established in the Southwest mainly in Gascony, Sauvignon has developed in other appellations as a secondary grape variety, where its very intense aromatic characteristics are perfectly expressed. In addition to its aromas, it brings beautiful liveliness to blends.

Sauvignon vines produce white cottony buds with pink edges and young downy leaves. It has five-lobed adult leaves and slightly marked upper lateral sinuses, the lower lateral sinuses being covered. Its petiolar sinus is in a slightly open in the form of a lyre (harp). Leaf blades are bubbled and tormented. Sauvignon vines bear small bunches with small grapes.

Sauvignon has characteristic aromas that vary according to the terroir. Most often, it develops aromas of blackcurrant, boxwood and citrus fruits. White Loire wines have aromas of flowers, lemon, white fruits and blackcurrant. For the sweet wines of Bordeaux, a small percentage of Sauvignon is blended with Semillon, which gives them very fresh aromas.

Additional aromas found in Sauvignon Blanc wines are of apricot, acacia, bitter almond, pineapple, rosewood, mushroom, lemon, quince, leather, spices, fennel, blackcurrant leaf, gooseberry leaf, acacia flower, orange blossom, cut hay, fern, passion fruit, exotic fruits, broom, iris, mango, fresh mint, honey, narcissus, smoky note, musky note, note of young crumpled leaves, orange, straw, grapefruit, flint (Sancerre), cooked leek, green bell pepper, fresh apple, undergrowth, violet, citrus zest…

The dry white wines made from Sauvignon, for exemple in the Southwest, are fine and balanced. They have an average aging potential of around 5 years. As for sweet wines, they can be kept much longer (up to 20 years).

An early ripening grape, an expressive variety, Sauvignon produces dry wines with a marked freshness that presents herbaceous aromas. In cooler climates, the wines often have a vegetal character (Loire and Bordeaux), but in warmer climats and at higher ripeness, Sauvignon expresses aromas more of exotic fruits and currants.


Sauvignon Noir N, a form of Sauvignon B, appears only in rare collections.

Sauvignon Gris Gs corresponds to the particular appearance of Sauvignon B from which it differs by the color of its grapes, grey or sometimes pink. A clone has been approved and is currently multiplying.

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@ Gilles Cattiau / INRA