I…didn’t pick this wine. My partner in wine crime picked it out. I wasn’t excited for it. He was overly enthused about it. Push-pull; band and forth. I think I mentioned before that in marriage you must compromise — even more so when you’re both wine lovers with slightly different palates. But the good news is that when your partner’s wine interests vary from yours, you get to try wines you may not have picked up if shopping on your own. And, like all experiments, there will be successes and there will be failures, but today I bring you a success: Dry Creek Vineyards Fume Blanc.
About the Wine: Don’t be fooled, Fume Blance is another word for Sauvignon Blanc. So, Dry Creek Vineyards Fume Blanc is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the, you guessed it, Dry Creek region of Sonoma County. I’ve read some places that “fume” refers to the smokey oak used for barrel aging…again, not true, do not be fooled. Dry Creek Vineyards Fume Blanc was fermented in 100% stainless steel for about one month. ABV 13.5%
Flavor Profile: In the glass, the wine emits a gentle yellow, with maybe the slightest, faintest green hue, though near clear to be sure. Initial aromas are quite fresh with lime zest, green apple, and definitely an earthy minerality quality in the background. The taste. The first thing I must say is drink this wine chilled. I mean Champagne temp chilled. The extra-cool temp will subdue the abundance of acidic fruit flavors and elevate that minerality, thus balancing the sweet and savory components in the wine. Furthermore, it’ll bring out an effervescence, a bit of bubbly, that, if served even at just below room temp, simply falls flat.
But served at the right temperature this wine is a bouquet of fresh green fruits — lime, apple to be sure, but a hint of something tropical, perhaps kiwi as well. That minerality pays homage to the herbaceous qualities to each of those fruits, while that effervescence leaves a lingering tingling on the tongue.
I’ve read elsewhere that “Fume” refers to a dry style Sauvignon Blanc, more akin to the kind you’d find in the wine Motherland of France. This is not always true, but to be sure it is true of Dry Creek Vineyards Fume Blanc. This is a light-bodied, high acid, dry white wine. And, I will admit, my partner was right, this wine was…and is…completely enjoyable on its own and with food.
Food Pairing: Have this with something that just needs freshness. I’m thinking of a spice-filled curry dish, or even a cream-based pasta. All the bright fruits and that refreshing aftertaste would do well to cut through the spices and fats of such dishes. Of course, you could go the other route and pair this with something that would compliment and uplift those somewhat tropical fruit flavors such as a simple baked white fish garnished with mango salsa.
More Info: I purchased this wine at Safeway (Sale Price: $10). I’ve never been a huge fan of Dry Creek Vineyards, but given this good experience, I’m open to try more from them. I’d love to see what they’ve accomplished with their Single Vineyard selections, which I’m sure has more honed-in qualities about them (from such a high-end, reputable winery, I would expect nothing less…). For more information about Dry Creek and their wines, please visit the Dry Creek Vineyards website.
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