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PKNT Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Touching the Pacific in the west and stretching up into the Andes on its eastern side, the Rapel Valley is one of the more substantial fine red wine producing regions of Chile and contains both the Colchagua Valley in its south and west and the Cachapoal in its north and east. While it is recognized for its exceptional warm-climate reds, the region does produce some fine Pinot noir and Sauvignon blanc on its coastal side.
Some of the country’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Rapel’s Andean foothills—with significant individualized smaller zones already identified. Soils here are mixtures of loam, clay, and sand; Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, and Merlot are the most prolific varieties throughout the region.
A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.
In the Glass
From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.
The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.
Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.