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Sauvignon Blanc - Blauer Portugieser

Sauvignon Blanc - Blauer Portugieser

For most winemakers in Austria, Blauer Portugieser is a filler, grape, used in blends or for house wines. We don't buy these, we buy from people who give the grape the same attention as the more popular grapes and make delicious wines. Like a lot of "neglected" grapes, it is simply lack of attention in planting or winemaking that makes so many of the wines simple. Just like Swiss Chasselas, Blauer Portugieser vines give prolific yields and has low acidity. Just like Swiss Chasselas, Portugieser wines were meant to be drunk in their youth and considered not suited to long-term cellaring. And - no surprise here - just as Swiss Chasselas there's no reason they cannot age magnificently with proper winemaking, or make truly impressive wines. A medium ruby colour with a fruity, grape juice kind of nose. There are also some aromas of plum and red cherry. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with low tannins and with moderately low acidity. On the palate, it tastes of grape with some cherry and raspberry fruit. Very smooth.

Sauvignon Blanc is a well known international grape variety that began its life in France and is now grown in every major wine producing country and most of the lesser known ones.

It has so many differing interpretations that it is impossible to define the aromas, flavours and textures of the wine. You will find aromas of cut grass, nettles, blackcurrant leaves and asparagus, green apples and gooseberries, cats' pee and flint, all depending on the terroir, the methods used by the winemaker and the age of the wine. The palate usually shows a lot of fresh fruit flavours with quite high acidity and a wonderful freshness. Some winemakers put their Sauvignon Blanc through a malolactic fermentation which softens the acidity and adds a richness to the flavour.

The origin of Sauvignon Blanc was considered by many to be in Bordeaux. However, documentation from France has shown this to be unlikely, as the grape is mentioned in records as being in the Loire Valley nearly 200 years before it gets a mention in the Bordeaux area.

Sauvignon Blanc has a rare pedigree. It is the grandchild of Pinot and the child of Savagnin. It is a sibling, or half-sibling, with a long line of well loved grapes including Chenin Blanc, Trousseau, Grüner Veltliner, Rotgipfler, Silvaner and Verdelho. Thanks to a natural crossing with Cabernet Franc the world now enjoys Cabernet Sauvignon. There are a couple of colour mutations of Sauvignon Blanc – Sauvignon Rouge and the very elegant Sauvignon Gris

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Although popular for its generous harvests, the variety has poor disease resistance (mildew and grey rot are a particular concern) and requires careful maintenance in the vineyard to make good wine.

Despite the suggestion of the grape's name of having a Portuguese origin, ampelographers have uncovered little evidence to suggest that this is the case. It is often said that the Austrian, Johann von Fries, brought it from Oporto to his estates near Voslau in 1772. Until recently and for that reason, it was called Kékoportó in Hungary. There is evidence to indicate that by the 19th century, the grape was widely established in Austria and that it was then that cuttings were brought to Germany.

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