Is Sauvignon Blanc Sweet?

is sauvignon blanc sweet

Is Sauvignon Blanc sweet? Many wine drinkers will immediately say no. 

Most people know Sauvignon Blanc wines as a dry, crisp, and refreshing white wine enjoyed in on a hot summer day.

However, one of the most respected, well-known, and expensive sweet wines in the world is produced with the Sauvignon Blanc grape.

Let’s take a look at Sauvignon Blanc wine to understand its diverse range of flavors, and learn when Sauvignon Blanc is dry or sweeter, so you can find the perfect bottle.

While traditionally a dry wine, Sauvignon Blanc wine can be created with a whole range of sweetness.

So let’s examine further… In this blog post, we will explore the taste profile of Sauvignon Blanc and discuss whether or not it is considered a sweet wine.

Table of Contents

What is Sauvignon Blanc?

Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France.

The grape is now planted in several wine regions around the world including Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and California.

Sauvignon Blanc wines are usually dry with high acidity and can have grassy, herbal, or tropical fruit flavors.

What does Sauvignon Blanc Taste Like?

New Zealand best Sauvignon blancs taste profile

The Sauvignon Blanc grape is known for its signature aromas of citrus, herbs, gooseberry, passion fruit, and tropical fruits.  

The grape is also one of the few that is able to retain its acidity levels even in warm climates. This makes Sauvignon Blanc an ideal grape for producing wines with a higher acidity and lower alcohol content.

What makes Sauvignon Blanc wine taste sweet?

The sweetness in Sauvignon Blanc wines is most often the result of residual sugar (RS) left over from the fermentation process. Wines with higher RS levels will taste sweeter than those with lower RS levels. The amount of RS in a wine is often determined by the grapes’ ripeness at harvest time, as well as the length of time the wine is left on the vine.

Cool Climate Sauvignon Blanc

cool climate sauvignon blanc grown

Sauvignon Blanc wines from cooler climates or harvested earlier in the season will have more tart, herbaceous, and greener characteristics with higher acidity levels and less sugar.

Warm Climate Sauvignon Blanc

warm climate sauvignon blancs

The Sauvignon Blanc wines from warmer climates or harvested later in the season, will have riper fruit flavors of citrus and tropical fruit. When it comes to wine, the longer you leave grapes to ripen and develop sugars, the sweeter the fruit and wine will be.

What is Noble Rot?

Noble Rot is a type of mold that is found on grape berries. The mold is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, which can affect many different types of grapes. When the conditions are right, the fungus will begin to grow on the outside of the grape berry, causing it to shrivel and lose water content. This process concentrates the sugars in the grape, making it an ideal candidate for producing sweet wine.

And in some cases and certain regions, winemakers even let the Sauvignon Blanc grapes develop “noble rot” which makes them exceptionally sweet. 

What are Sweet Sauvignon Blancs?

The majority of the world’s Sauvignon Blanc are made as a dry wines.

Some Marlborough, New Zealand producers, on the other hand, produce sparkling sauvignon with it or add a touch of sugar for richness.

Also dessert wines made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes with flavors of caramelized ginger, orange peel, and sweet figs are produced in South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile.

Most Famous Sweet White Wine (#1)

chateau yquem

Sauvignon Blanc is also used to make Sauternes. This copper-colored, age-worthy wine, is the sweetest variety of Sauvignon Blanc. It is the famous Bordeaux dessert wine, which is a blend of the green-skinned grapes and Semillon or Muscadelle fruit that have developed noble rot.

Chateau Y’quem is the most famous and expensive Sauternes, with a bottle costing hundreds to thousands of dollar for one bottle.


Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile grape that can be used to make dry, still white wines as well as dessert wines.

So whether you like Sauvignon Blanc sweet or dry, there is a type just for you!

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