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The week in wine: Villebois Sauvignon Blanc Prestige 2020
- Kevin Fullerton
- 5 November 2021
This week we try a fruity Sauvignon Blanc to see if it converts a white wine agnostic into an enthusiast
Welcome to the fourth edition of our weekly wine column, in which we highlight a great bottle and let you know its price point, the story behind its winemakers and, most importantly, how it tastes. Whether you're a dyed-in-the-wool imbiber or looking to refine your palate with a diverse range of bottles, check back every week for a new review.
When it comes to white wine I'm, to use a technical term, a complete fuss-pot. For my palate, most whites are as sharp as a knife, their strong alcoholic tang eliminating any subtlety from the texture.
But my agnosticism towards a white's potential virtues should be immaterial for a wine column – after all, these reviews are about helping you strike out onto vineyards new, not my own sense of indulgence.
With that in mind I cracked open a bottle of Villebois Sauvignon Blanc Prestige 2020, made by independent vintner Joost de Vilebois from old vines and low yield vineyards to ensure a complexity that can't be found in a younger grape. The result of Villebois' work is an enlivening glass that has the strong taste of exotic fruits, like taking a bite from a juicy apricot the moment it's been picked.
The Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely consumed wines in the UK, the archetypal 'one glass after work' purchase and, although it's generally considered to be a summer drink, none of its taste is diminished in the brisk chill of autumn. Instead this bottle feels like the perfect antidote to the season, its singularly fruity taste casting your mind back to a few months ago when an ice bucket was a necessary accompaniment with every cold drink (in a Scottish autumn, the freeze created in an ice bucket is more commonly referred to as 'room temperature').
This is a wine that in many ways conforms to the classic Sauvignon Blanc formula – dry, refined and flavourful – but with enough flair and unique touches to make it a breed apart from its supermarket competition. As with all of the bottles we've covered so far, Villebois is supported by Naked Wines in his endeavours as a winemaker on the Loire Valley, and his specialism in Sauvignon Blanc has won him many fans in the trade since he opened his doors in 1996. It's easy to see why – if his other bottles have the same just-one-more-glass taste, I'll be quick to try them.
My attitude towards rosé dramatically shifted last week, and now I'm a flag-waving Sauvignon Blanc zealot. I hope you'll join me in raising a glass to broadening your horizons and to Villebois' crowd-pleasing tipple.
The Villebois Sauvignon Blanc Prestige 2020 is available for £9.99 from Naked Wines, or as part of their subscription service.