I feel like everything Grgich Hills produces has an element of fun to it. Even their rustic Zinfandels and hearty Cabernets take the intimidation out of the Napa red wine stereotypes. But nothing says a whimsical night of wine drinking than a fumé blanc. Even the name has a bit of witticism: an accepted synonym to Sauvignon Blanc, the nickname was given to the varietal by Robert Mondavi in the 1960s — purely as a marketing gimmick. So cheers — gimmick or not — to a fun fumé by a fun producer.
This is my first experience with Grgich Hills Estate wine. It’s a winery I’ve always been, for lack of a better word, a bit intimidated to try. It has all this hype and rep around it — such an elevated heir. I really didn’t think I was cool enough to drink something from Grgich. But sometimes, just like on the playground, you have to rustle up some self-confidence and just jump into a game with the cool kids. So grab a glass and jump in with me, you’ll be so glad you did.
I am way too excited to write about this wine. Why? Because it’s one of those instances when I knew right away what I wanted when I saw it: Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Fume Blanc. The truth is, I knew what I would be eating for dinner that night, and nothing in my cellar was going to play the part of the perfect pairing. I was in a state of mind that I really needed my wine to enhance the dish: elevate certain flavors while calming down others. So I went out and, despite the store’s limited selection, I found this gem.
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.