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.
Skeptical, as always, when I receive a rosé — I’ve had some high highs and some low lows when it comes to the varietal. On the other side of that, though, is my track record with Grgich Hills Estate: from their light and lively Fumé Blanc to their downright earthy Napa Cab, Mr.’s Grgich and Hills have never steered me wrong.
Of course, then I read the blend. Cautiously concerned, but ultimately curious, there was nothing left to do but dive right in and taste.
There was a time when I was very much intimidated by the name Grgich Hills, thinking I was not worthy of the wines produced. After all, there’s a lot of Napa fame and history behind the label. But I dipped my toe, sunk my teeth, no — wetted my palate with the 2014 Fumé Blanc, was taken aback by the 2013 Estate Chardonnay, and pretty much threw a party in honor of the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. What I’ve come to learn is that Grgich Hills can and does produce fun and affordable wines. And Grgich Hills 2012 Zinfandel is one such gem.
I saved this wine. Saved and saved and saved until I was so antsy to try it, I basically threw a party for it. Ok, not really. But it was two good friends’ birthday and I wanted to pour a wine that a) represents a specific piece of California wine country and a piece of California history and b) showcases all that I’ve learned and come to appreciate during my latest wine studies. Who better than Grgich? What better than a Napa Cab? Flatout — no one and nothing.
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.