The 2011 Fumé Blanc displays an aromatic symphony that leaves one pondering the truly magical characters of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal. The initial aromas fill the senses with a cacophony of pungent grassy, kaffir lime, citrus, white pepper and classic olive aromas. The palate is framed by refreshing citrus and mineral notes that mingle in wonderful harmony with Meyer lemon, Granny Smith apple and orange zest flavors. The grassy elements repeat on the finish with acidity that is both refreshing and brisk. This incredible new vintage is an ode to our founding and reminds us of how we got our start – a wine that is classically styled and immediately food friendly at an unbelievably fair price.
Dry Creek Vineyard Winery
In 1972, when David S. Stare opened the doors to Dry Creek Vineyard, it was the first new winery to be built in the Valley since Prohibition. Dry Creek created the first Sonoma Fume Blanc, originated the Dry Creek Valley AVA, and was an early advocate for Bordeaux-style blending.
Today, Dry Creek Vineyard is committed to vineyard diversity, vinifying individual lots of fruit separately, and then blending carefully for each final cuvee. Dry Creek Vineyard is also a leader in the stewardship of pre-Prohibition Zinfandel vines and vineyards, and has isolated a clone, called the "Heritage Clone," which is bottled separately from their "Old Vines" Zinfandel (containing wine only from vines no younger than 50 years old), and which has made very promising wines.
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Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Exceptional for the price! I'm giving it 3 stars because I reserve 5 stars for my bucket list picks and 4 stars for my outstanding wine picks. This is an extremley good Sauvignon Blanc and a great deal for the price. It overperforms and refuses to be overstated. This is not like New Zealand SB (meaning no huge grapefruit here), instead you'll find hints of all things citrus, a lovely light body and a refreshing profile. I think the winemaker's notes on this one are spot-on.
Usually when you see Fume Blanc you think oak. But this wine is pure stainless steel... They call it Loire Valley style, and though perhaps not as complex as many Loire wines, this delivers the citrus, grassy notes and super zingy acidity one expects from that region. Crisp, with citrus dominating, backed by some grassy, mineral and bell pepper notes. Quite refreshing. Warm day, backyard kind of wine!
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.