Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé What is the Difference?

Sauvignon Blancs from France

France is renowned for producing some of the world’s most sought after white wine.

Sauvignon Blanc originated in the west of France. It does best in cooler climates, such as the continental climate of the Loire Valley and the Atlantic-influenced climate of Bordeaux.

This white grape from France tends to be fresh and crisp, green apple and herbs on the nose. Typically high acidity.

A typical Sauvignon Blanc from France would be from the Bordeaux region. This is where the grape first originated. With this grape you can generally expect a dry and light bodied wine, with light fruity notes, such as lime, gooseberry and honey. These flavours would complement any foods, for example, with pastas that contain pesto, risotto, and various types of fish.

The Sauvignon grape is not only grown in Bordeaux, but the cool climate of the Loire Valley pays huge tribute to this grape. The cooler climate in this area slows down the ripening of the vine, allowing the grape time to develop, this gives a balance between its acidity and sugar levels. The balance allows for intense aromas.

Sancerre is not very unlike a Bordeaux Sauvignon. Though this white would be bone dry, highly aromatic with intense flavours of gooseberry and peach. Depending on the area of this Appellation, some villages would have more clay in the soil, this would result in more full bodied wines. While other villages, have lighter soils, with a mix of limestone and gravel, this would result in a wine with more floral, perfumed aromas. Compared to Sauvignon Blanc grown in Bordeaux, Sancerre can be more concentrated with more acidity.

On the other side of the River, Pouilly-Fumé tends to be a little broader, softer, slightly less vibrant and aromatic than Sancerre. The one distinctive aroma of Pouilly-Fumé is gunflint, this gives the wine its local characteristics. The distinct flavour comes from the soil, the chalky clay terroir of the Pouilly-sur-Loire.

So each Sauvignon Blanc has a lot of similarities but each with their own uniqueness, a Bordeaux Sauvignon would be a little less expensive than a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, but that would not take from the quality.


Pop into any of our 8 stores across Cork City & County, and try any of the following. Or buy online by clicking on the wine name.


La Cheteau SancerreOn the nose it is expressive with floral and fruity notes which follows through onto the palate resulting in a full bodied wine with gooseberry and green fruit most prominent, classic elegance and a long finish. €23

Alain Gueneau La Guiberte SancerrePale yellow in colour with green and golden highlights. Initially on the nose you get discreet herbaceous hints such as nettle and mint. Then the nose reveals notes of elder blossom, citronella, and thyme. Refreshing on the palate with its acidulous balance where lemon and grapefruit prevail. On the finish, notes of pears in syrup. €27 

Pascal Jolivet SancerreGolden yellow in the glass. A slight aroma of gunflint, but the fruit aromas shine through in this Sauvignon. Full bodied with a long finish, this Sauvignon does not disappoint on the palate, showing the perfect balance between minerality and acidity. This tasty white is definitely unique.  €35 

La Cheteau Pouilly-FuméThis dry Sauvignon Blanc is pale yellow in colour, with a slight green tinge. On the nose you get ripe gooseberry, green fruits and elderflower. The palate does not disappoint with delicious green apple flavours, gooseberry, and a crisp clean finish. Good length. €23

Domaine Bois Fleury Pouilly FuméAromas of fruity citrus such as grapefruit, passion fruit, as well as rose petals and white flowers. This Pouilly Fumé is an easy to drink Sauvignon, fruity and elegant on the palate. €26