Sauvignon Blanc Day: Five wines to celebrate with

Wine news

Fri 3 May 2019

By Rachel Swatman

Sauvignon Blanc Day (#SauvBlancDay) is celebrated on the first Friday of May each year, as winemakers and wine drinkers from all over the world raise a glass to the white grape.

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted, most versatile grape varieties in the world – and arguably one of the most popular. 

Many wine drinkers think that the best Sauvignon Blancs come from New Zealand, where the typical style is pungently green, super-ripe, always dry and with medium to high acidity. But that’s not always the case.

Although the IWSC did receive some exceptional New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines in 2018, most of our top-rated Sauvignon Blancs were produced in South Africa, another New World region that has a slightly warmer climate and produces riper wines. 

Our tasting panels– who taste every wine blind – also awarded a French Sauvignon Blanc with a Gold Outstanding medal last year. After all, the grape variety originates from the cooler climate Loire Valley in France, where the wines are often equally aromatic, but leaner and fresher than their New World counterparts. 

With so many Sauvignon Blanc wines on the market, it can be difficult to know which to buy, but that’s what the IWSC is for. We’ve picked out five of the best Sauvignon Blancs that received top medals from the IWSC in 2018, with tasting notes from our expert judges.

Spier 21 Gables Sauvignon Blanc 20171.png

South Africa

Medium, warm straw in colour with light green flecks on rim. The nose bursts with fat, rich tropical fruits that smell candied and dried. Warm apple, white pear and canteloupe are beautifully balanced by a classic fresh herbaceousness of fresh grass and buchu. The mouthfeel is crisp, clean and playful while giving some serious mid-palate fruit weight at the same time. Finishes long and mineral. Drink now or cellar up to 3 years.

Cable Bay Vineyards Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 20172.png

Awatere Valley, New Zealand

A wonderfully textural wine in which threads of lemon, delicate herb, nut and flinty mineral are woven round a savoury core. A more restrained style supported by a solid backbone of bright acidity, which drives the wine to its fresh and chalky finish.

Château Brown 20163.png

Pessac-Léognan AOP, France

An absolute classic, what more could this offer? Beautiful creamy, smoky notes, great length and balance. Good use of oak, fresh and in perfect harmony.

Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve White 20164.png

Stellenbosch, South Africa

What a classy wine. Pale gold with a sexy nose showing the best of both its Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties. Lovely aromatic herbs with hints of wax and lovely resinous notes from the use of high-quality oak. Palate is rich, oily and sensuous, with ripe white peach, fragrant citrus and well-judged creamy oak, which enhances the fruit. Beautifully structured, drinking now with concentration and complexity to reward aging.

KWV The Mentors Noble Late Harvest 20155.png

Walker Bay, South Africa

Preserved lemon and orange richness, almost oily with the effect of botrytis (a type of fungus that intensifies the sweetness level and adds flavour complexity to wines). A very long finish, with excellent acid balance for the impressive sweetness.

The IWSC 2019 is now OPEN - enter now to be in with a chance to win a medal this year. For more information or expert help, email