"Sauvignon Blanc needs oak to go to the next level"

From the drinks business: More winemakers should use oak to ferment and age their Sauvignon Blanc if the grape is to reach its full potential, Richard Bampfield MW has said.

My immediate reaction is to say “no”! OTOH, I have had a number of oaked SB’s that were wonderful . . . and a number that have been overoaked, so . . . .

The headline would be more accurate if it said, “… to go to the next price level.”

It’s surely not very controversial that that “a little bit of oak in Sauvignon can actually work really well if it’s practised by someone who really knows what they’re doing.” I’m always happy to drink Dageneau if someone else is paying.

. . . which is proof positive that “to the next price level” is NOT the point of the headline. Unless you’d like all your friends who are paying for your Dageneau to stop buying it! ;^)

From the text of the article, when Bampfield said “next level,” it seems like he was talking about price:

Bampfield said that such limitations meant that, in general, unoaked Sauvignon Blanc would inevitably have a “price ceiling”, and that this was something that Sauvignon Blanc producers in regions such as the Loire and Bordeaux should address.
“If Sauvignon wants to go to the next level …”

Though as an industry consultant, he may be prone to conflating “make better wine” and “charge more for it.”

Are there any unoaked SBs that go for >$50?

Merry Edwards makes it work pretty nicely too. Even Araujo seems to get it right. Not sure I’d pay $90 for an SB, but … whatever,.