Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Dry Creek Vineyard 2018 Fumé Blanc and 2018 Sauvignon Blanc

DCV 2018 Fume Blanc and Sauvignon BlancHusband and wife don’t always agree. Such was the case with these two Sauvignon Blanc releases from Sonoma Country.

A Tale Of Two Palates

Anytime two different wine drinkers imbibe, you can expect a difference of opinion. One Instagram contributor I follow, for example, keeps posting photos of visits to interesting wineries in our state – but every wine shown is a sweet fruit sugar bomb. That’s clearly out of step with where I am in my wine appreciation journey.

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My wife (known as the Green Dragon) and I often think alike. That’s not so strange when you’ve been married for a while like we have. It’s not uncommon for me to say, “I’d really could go for some Mexican food tonight” and she’ll say, “I was thinking the same thing.” Our taste in wines are usually in sync too – but not always.

A Doubletake On Sauvignon Blanc

We recently opened two new releases from Dry Creek Vineyard, the 2018 Fumé Blanc, Sonoma County, and the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley. Although both Sauvignon Blanc, they are two different animals in the glass. We had two different favorites.

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Fumé Blanc is an approved alternate name for Sauvignon Blanc and was coined by Robert Mondavi when he was trying to jumpstart the California wine industry in the 1960s. While some associate Fumé Blanc with an oak finish, that isn’t always the case. This Fumé is fermented in stainless steel with no oak aging.

The Green Dragon leapt for joy with the Fumé Blanc. The racy acidity, aroma of cut grass, and dynamic citrus flavors push all the right buttons. Made with grapes from Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley in Sonoma, this is a perennial favorite with us. It is refreshing and intense with pure flavors. At only $16, this is a flavorful value.

Going For A Different Twist

While Green Dragon was going ga-ga over the Fumé Blanc, I was appreciating the Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc. It offers complexity and style at an amazing price point of just $20. To start with, it’s not just Sauvignon Blanc. It has 15% Sauvignon Musqué and 9% Sauvignon Gris. The Sauvignon Musqué, a clone, delivers added body while the Sauvignon Gris gives a unique texture to the wine. All grapes come from the Dry Creek Valley AVA.

So, instead of a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc, there is a more sophisticated quality. As if the grape selection weren’t enough to pique your interest, a portion of the wine is fermented in acacia, chestnut and neutral French oak barrels. That’s cool.

This wine tips toward tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and tangerine. This has a fuller body than the Fumé Blanc with the acidity not as pronounced. It has a grand elegance you wouldn’t expect at this price and is my pick of the two.

Both bottles will make great pairings with light summer fare including chicken and fish. Of course, sipping them nicely chilled on a warm summer evening works too.

Full disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.

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