Sauvignon Gris has more of a pinkish hue to its skin (it is also known as Sauvignon Rosé) and has similar levels of acidity as that of Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Gris produces fruit with higher sugar levels than its cousin, which contribute to greater aromatics and a more rich and round feel to the wines.
At one point these wines were highly prized, yet due to the very low yields that the grape produces it almost became extinct. Wines produced from Sauvignon Gris tend to be richer and more voluptuous in texture than Sauvignon Blanc, with ripe fruit flavours of mango and melon as well as citrus notes. The wines are usually dry and tend to have some of the herbaceous notes so typical of the Sauvignon family.
"In the nose, lychees and lime, with a touch of honey, on the palate fresh and exotic (pineapple and passionfruit come to mind), very rich and round finish.”
Tasting notes for ‘Le Savant’, Geneva, Switzerland.
The problem is that Sauvignon Gris is not a big yielder and it was as a result of this and phylloxera, the mite which decimated vineyards in the 1800's, that it became almost extinct.
Rediscovered in the 1980's growing in the Loire, it has since been reintroduced to the Graves region of Bordeaux and has since spread to Australia, Chile and New Zealand.
Its origins remain something of a mystery although it is generally accepted to have come from the Loire region of France. It is either a mutation of Sauvignon Blanc or an older version of the variety.