So what make a wine a “Sauvignon Blanc” anyhow? The answer is “it depends”. SB’s from Australia have to be 100% of the varietal to be labled “Sauvignon Blanc”. In France, where wines are categorized by geographical area, Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre contain 100% Sauvignon Blanc.  Wines from California must contain at least 75% Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Guess if you want a “pure” SB, better head “down under” or “parlez-vous-francais”.

Regardless, if the majority of the grape variety in the bottle is Sauvignon Blanc, that’s sufficient for me. Good thing since only 70% of the 2009 edition of Domaine de Ballade Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne is Sauvignon Blanc. The other 30% is Colombard, another white grape more associated with California Jug Wines. This is my “under $10” Sauvignon Blanc of the week and another one I picked up from Meditrina Wine & Cheese.

In the bottle it is tending more toward yellow than straw in color. My nose got strong grapefruit/citrus with some background floral notes, honeysuckle perhaps. There was lots of acidity on the palate – a lot – but in a different way than a NZ style. On its own it has a bitter side – not powerful or unpleasant but it is there. There’s a slight creaminess on the finish reminiscent of melons. You have to wait for it but it’s there.

I enjoyed this with 2 spicy dishes, one a chicken & rice Tex/Mex and the other an Asian vegetable and fish. With the food the slight bitter finish vanished.

My enjoyment meter hit 84 points with this wine. I will probably pick up another bottle to keep on hand for spicy food. Perhaps 2 since that’s what I enjoy most!


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