Wine & Spirits

Wild Whites

Photo by Becca Sabot

Each time I write about sauvignon blanc, I’m reminded of how much I like it and what a wide range of styles this grape has. It grows all over the world and is distinct to each location. Its origins go back to Bordeaux, where it most likely grew wild: sauvignon means wild, and blanc means white. While most of the world’s distribution of cuttings of late have come from Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, two towns in the Loire Valley, the original California cuttings were brought over by Charles Wetmore from Chateau d’Yquem. Another interesting fact: Sauvignon blanc is one of the parent grapes to cabernet sauvignon, a cross with cabernet franc. Selection from Haskell’s, multiple locations,

Starborough 2013 (Marlborough, New Zealand) $9.99

The William Jones family was originally from England but chose to head out for a better life about as far away from home as they could get. Jones began to farm this property in 1865, and four generations later it’s producing lovely affordable wines that are fresh with passionfruit and gooseberry. You can pick out New Zealand from this fragrant, telling nose. It’s great on its own or with halibut or fish and chips depending on your mood.

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2012 (Sancerre, Loire Valley, France) $27.99

Pascal Jolivet started his winery in 1987, so it’s young for a winery in these parts. With property in both Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, he feels he can make the best wine that sauvignon blanc has to offer. He has a passion for natural winemaking and biodynamic practices, which makes his process much more involved than most, but he feels it’s worth it. It certainly shows in the glass. This wine is as complex as this grape gets: herbal and elegant with flowers on the nose, bright crisp acids, and tons of minerals on your tongue. It gives you a new flavor with each sip and is crazy good. A classic pairing: raw oysters and a deserving frien

Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at