2018 Fumé Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
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In 1968, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich went to work for Robert Mondavi as chief enologist, making the inaugural release of “Fume Blanc”. This elegant, dry style of oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc was named “Fume Blanc” by Robert Mondavi, playing on the French word meaning smoke. At Grgich Hills Estate, Mike continued to make this elevated style of Sauvignon Blanc, paying homage to his former employer and friend.
Relying on naturally-occurring yeasts, we fermented a portion of the grapes in 900-gallon French oak casks, called foudres, with the remainder in oak barrels. We then aged the wine for six months on its lees (the spent yeast) in neutral barrels.
On the front palate, this wine opens with notes of green apple, lemon grass and snap peas, where undertones of flint and minerals begin to develop. It exhibits a mouth watering freshness and structure on the attack, a great complexity on the mid-palate with fresh and tangy fruit characteristics and a linear and unwavering acid structure building the frame. It is a wine of enormous precision and minerality with a finish that evokes the crystal-clear serenity of an Alpine mountain stream on a cool summer morning.
The 2018 vintage was a bountiful vintage marked by cool, consistent temperatures and a timely rainfall for bud break in March and April. Harvest began on September tenth, and the grapes were of the highest quality with lower alcohol and high acidity.
We grow Sauvignon Blanc grapes in our American Canyon and Carneros vineyards in the southern tip of Napa Valley, near San Francisco Bay. The clay soils retain water, allowing us to dry farm, and the coolness slows ripening and retains acidity. The grapes develop a crisp liveliness that is impossible to achieve in warmer areas. About 80% of our Sauvignon Blanc is planted to the Musque clone, which provides elegant floral aromatics. We farm all our vineyards naturally, without artificial pesticides or herbicides, and they are certified organic.
Sept. 10-21, 2018
22.1 Brix average
April 9-24, 2019
100% Sauvignon Blanc