In Italy, the ever-popular Sauvignon Blanc is simply called Sauvignon. The commercial success of this white wine is closely linked to New Zealand’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, beloved by Britons for its refreshing acidity and juicy tropical flavours. While New Zealand has found great success with this characteristic style, Italy offers several distinct styles of Sauvignon wine. This is because Italy boasts a great diversity of soils and climates, from Mediterranean to Alpine.
Italian Sauvignon wines and their flavours
Alto Adige Sauvignon comes from the north-eastern Alps. With sunny sites on the valley floor reserved for red grapes, Sauvignon and other white grapes are planted on the Alpine slopes – often as high as 1,000 metres. Sauvignon grows on soils rich in limestone, dolomite, schist or porphyry, producing wines with memorable “steely” acidity and minerality. As a result, Alpine Sauvignon is profoundly refreshing, bursting with flavours of lime, mint and green bell pepper.
Sauvignon from Marche, grown on pebbly soils in a warmer climate, is full of tropical flavours. This wine offers notes of guava, lime, gooseberry and lemongrass with a hint of white flowers.
Sauvignon from Abruzzo is structured and complex, with a fuller body. This wine combines the pleasant tropical notes you’d find in Marche with saltiness and minerality from Adriatic sea breezes.