This once under-appreciated alternative to chardonnay was brought to stardom by New Zealand. Tends to have strong grassy, herbal, mineral, citrus (particularly grapefruit) tastes. Has assertive, pronounced varietal flavors, usually dry and crisply acidic. More recently, some California examples are finished slightly sweet to soften them up.
Found all over the world, sauvignon blanc thrives in French white Bordeaux and in the Loire Valley (Pouilly Fume and Sancerre), as well as in California in sauvignon (or fume) blanc and in Meritage blends with semillon. New Zealand and South American and other sauvignon blancs are labeled as such.