California

Sauvignon Blanc

Study Guides > Varieties > Sauvignon Blanc

Signature Styles & Characteristics

Although any grape can be interpreted in innovative and at times, outlying styles, the following chart/graphic represents the preponderance of what you will find California’s winemakers producing.

  • Dryness/Residual Sugar

    Dessert Wine: 60 percent on a scale from Dry to Sweet of Dryness/Residual Sugar. Table Wine: 60 percent on the same scale.

  • Acid (potential)

    Dessert Wine: 55 percent on a scale from Low to High of Acid (potential). Table Wine: 85 percent on the same scale.

  • Alcohol (potential)

    Dessert Wine: 65 percent on a scale from Low to High of Alcohol (potential). Table Wine: 65 percent on the same scale.

  • Body (weight on palate)

    Dessert Wine: 60 percent on a scale from Low to High of Body (weight on palate). Table Wine: 60 percent on the same scale.

  • Texture

    Dessert Wine: 25 percent on a scale from Tart and lean, or round, smooth, and buttery to Round smooth and creamy of Texture. Table Wine: 100 percent on the same scale.

  • Tannin

    Dessert Wine: 100 percent on a scale from Light to Full of Tannin. Table Wine: 100 percent on the same scale.

*Not applicable, however resulting wines can be slightly phenolic due to skin contact and/or new oak.

Aromas/Flavors

Influenced by climate, terroir, clonal selection and winemaking.

    Age
  • Np Fruit 3293668 000000

    Fruit

    Grapefruit, lemon, lime, citron, melon, guava, passion fruit, quince, gooseberry, kumquat, green banana, papaya, fig, green melon
  • Floral

    Vegetable

    Green bean, green pea, green olive, artichoke, flower stem, asparagus, bell pepper, peppers (serrano, jalapeno), fennel, caper, celery, celeriac (celery root), green grass, hay, straw, alfalfa , arugula, salad greens, kelp, tomato leaf, nettle
  • Floral

    Floral

    Mint, menthol, dill, coriander, basil, green-tea leaf, lemongrass, lemon verbena, lemon thyme, sage, boxwood, broom
  • Icon Earth

    Earth

    Wet wool, wet dog, cat box, gunflint, mineral salinity/sea spray
  • Icon Wood

    Wood (oak)

    Smoke, vanilla, toast, sweet spice (pie) In dessert styles: Apricot, peach, ripe pear, honey, caramel, flan/crème brûlée, sultana (golden raisin), marmalade, vanilla, sweet spice, citrus peel, nut, dry fig

Ageability

2 to 5 years on average, pedigree-dependent; the best bottles can age even longer. The best sweet dessert styles can last decades