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Sauvignon blanc: The ideal spring wine

Sauvignon blanc asserts itself from California to South America, the Loire Valley to New Zealand. The styles of these whites vary. But what brings them together is a supple, often intense quality. And they're ideal wines for spring.

You'll enjoy them with artichokes and asparagus, fried calamari and grilled swordfish, raw oysters and ceviche, plenty of salads, plus Asian and Latin fare.

The 2014 JUSTIN Sauvignon Blanc ($14) delivers tropical fruit and lemon, herbal and floral notes. The crisp 2013 Atalon Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($21) is a balanced, versatile choice, with lively fruit. The 2013 Steelhead North Coast Sauvignon Blanc ($13) has traces of grassiness and suggestions of pineapple and green apple.

Kim Crawford produces classic sauvignon blanc in New Zealand. The 2014 Kim Crawfrod Sauvignon Blanc ($18), from the Wairau amd Awatere Valleys in Marlborough, is a vivid, zesty varietal, with racy acidity and a harvest of tropical fruit and citrus. The 2014 FRENZY Sauvignon Blanc ($14) from South Island, New Zealand adds a layer of minerality to its grapefruit and herbs.

From Beziers in the Languedoc in southwest France: the 2012 Laroche Sauvignon Blanc de la Chevaliere ($13), a lightly floral, minerally selection. The 2014 Decopas Sauvignon Blanc ($12) is a bright and fruity number from Mendoza, Argentina.

And for richer, more complex sauvignon blanc, try two winners from Matanzas Creek Winery. The peachy, minty, vibrant 2013 Helena Bench Sauvignon Blanc ($40); and the tropical-fruit driven, long-finish 2013 Bennett Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($32).

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