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Sauvignon Blanc - Roter Traminer

Sauvignon Blanc - Roter Traminer

I would advise anyone who wants to delve deeply into the origins of grapes to look at ‘Wine Grapes’ by Jancis Robinson et al., the most authoritative tome on the subject. It did help my spinning head a little, but not much, as the Traminer/Savagnin family is more complex than the Ewings of Dallas. Roter Traminer is the same wine as Savagnin Rouge, related to the Gelber Traminer (Savagnin Blanc/Heida) and to Gewürztraminer. Roter Traminer is the predominant Traminer variety in Austria. It has low acidity and literally does smell (and taste) of roses along with dried fruit, marshmallows and citrus notes. In colour it ranges from intensely green to intensely yellow or even a glisten of red. When produced from ripe grapes, it produces wines with pronounced aromas that age well.

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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