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Barnard Griffin Fume Blanc 2009

Sauvignon Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE91
12.8% ABV
  • WE89
  • WE90
  • WE88
  • WS85
  • WS86
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12.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Delivers textbook Sauvignon Blanc aromas of pear and melon with a streak of mineral and herbs. Fresh and appley with a thread of pineapple and tangerine flavors. Racy acidity and an underlying minerality add balance and complexity to this satisfying white.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This could be called the signature white for Barnard Griffin, for it always delivers astonishing flavor for the modest price. A small percentage of Sémillon is in the blend, but the sappy, spicy, penetrating herbaceousness of Sauvignon Blanc is showcased, not disguised. Done in a Sancerre-like style, under 13% alcohol, this is a gorgeous food wine, but you may just want to sip on it all by itself.
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Barnard Griffin

Barnard Griffin Winery

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Barnard Griffin Winery, Columbia Valley, Washington
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Barnard Griffin Winery was established in 1983 by Winemaker Rob Griffin and his wife, Deborah Barnard. Rob saw the opportunity to make great wine in Washington and moved north in 1977. Pleased with his move to Washington, he says "The northern latitude of Washington and the ideally drained sandy soils of the Columbia Valley make it possible to produce deeply concentrated wines of pronounced character."

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.

In the Glass

From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

CWMBG0911_2009 Item# 108350