Sauvignon Blanc was first made famous by the French and much later New Zealand took it to another level of world-wide fame. Now you can find Sauvignon Blanc in California and other parts of the world.
In the white wine world, Sauvignon Blanc is just another trendy wine pushed by millions of dollars of advertising and investments to make it a household name. This is my opinion although I’m sure others would agree.
Regardless whether Sauvignon Blanc is trendy or not, you like this wine. Most likely you enjoy the citrus notes and crispy acidity that make it a refreshing full bodied white wine.
But you’re looking for an Italian wine that is similar to Sauvignon Blanc. You might be Italian-American and want to find something made in Italy that is similar in style and taste. Or you’ve taken a trip to Italy, fell in love with the country, and you’d like to find a nice white wine similar to Sauvignon Blanc. Maybe you have some other reason that inspires curiosity to see what Italian wine Italy has to offer that shares some of the same qualities as Sauvignon Blanc.
If you’re looking for a crispy white wine with citrus notes, take a look at a Sicilian wine called Catarratto. Before you run out and buy a Catarratto at your local wine store, I’d advise you to try various brands before you judge this zesty white wine from Sicily. There are reasons for this and I go through it briefly followed by the flavor profile.
Catarratto is a native Sicilian grape that has been growing in Italy’s largest region for at least 1,000 years. It’s name literally means “cataract,” referring to a gushing waterfall. The description is derived by how Catarratto behaves as a wine in the glass more so than a description of the grape itself. The “legs” of Catarratto are quite long and act like little waterfalls sliding down the glass.
Historically, Catarratto was made in bulk to be sold locally and exported. While production levels of Catarratto have been reduced in order to achieve higher quality wines, Catarratto still remains the most cultivated white wine grape in Sicily.
Most of the very inexpensive Sicilian wines that hit the American market first were blends of Catarratto and other white varietals.
What Does Catarratto Taste Like?
The best Catarratto has a lively, crispy and zesty acidity that makes you think of lemons swinging on Sicilian palm trees. Medium to full body depending on how concentrated the wine is. The higher the eleven of the vineyards, the more potential for citrus notes. The higher the elevation, the higher the potential for lush and ripe citrus fruits. This is where a smaller production becomes important.
Look for a monovarietal of Catarratto made by a small producer. You’ll get the most authentic and pleasing results there. If you can’t find a small production version, start with whatever you can find as along as it’s 100% Cattarrato so you can taste the essence of this beautiful Sicilian grape.
Try at least 3 different brands that make 100% Catarratto and decide for yourself if there are similarities between this wine and Sauvignon Blanc. Who knows, maybe you’ll love Catarratto for than Sauvignon Blanc. I know I do.
Find Other Italian Wines Similar To Sauvignon Blanc
Looking for an Italian wine that is similar to a well-known wine is a great way to explore the world of Italian wines. You should get yourself a copy of Hidden Gems of Italy because there are two charts full of more familiar wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec and Pinot Noir that are similar to Italian wines.