Sauvignon Blanc — from Burgundy?

We all know Burgundy whites for their use of chardonnay grapes and, to a lesser extent, aligoté. But one Burgundy white is made up of 100% sauvignon blanc, and until its promotion to AOC status in January 2003, its VDQS name actually included the name of the varietal, a rarety in French appellations.

Sauvignon de Saint-Bris, a vin délimité de qualité supérieure from 1974 to 2003, thus changed its name to Saint-Bris when it became an AOC. One could wonder to what extent this was a conscious decision to disassociate the wine from varietals in general, or from Sauvignon in particular.

For the moment, Saint-Bris remains a “relatively small and relatively unknown recent appellation,” according to A quick tour of online tasting notes, however, reveals positive opinions. Jane MacQuitty of TimesOnline calls the 2005 William Fèvre Saint-Bris “a scintillating, steely, taut and tart sauvignon blanc,” and features it in a November 2006 list of “Whites under £8.


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Reader Comments

Sauvignon Blanc de St.-Bris, now with its new AOC status and called just St.-Bris, is indeed a rarity in Burgundy where Chardonnay rules the world of white wine. This rare wine is a very fine, crisp and rather long living white wine, not to be missed not only for its unusally place in the world of wines but also because it is indeed a fine product whose price has not gone out of sight. Another Burgundian rarity is a red wine from just outside of Chablis (yes, a red) called Irancy. It has a regional Bourgogne rouge appellation and it is of the Pinot Noir grape. While most are light, a few can in fact age gracefully. It is not to be missed when in Chablis and needing a red to round out the palate after a day of tasting Chablis. It also goes well with the cheese course. When you order your Irancy in Chablis, you will most likely impress the waiter with your knowledge of this virtually unknown red wine of the Chablis region.

If you see it on a wine list of course, Samuel, it is a little obscure afterall!

I was lucky enough to visit Irancy a few years back and buy a few boxes of wine. We loved it and I might also add that the price is very reasonable compared to many Burgundies.