Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Breeze of a Wine: the 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

The heat is on and in an attempt to cool down, many of us are reaching for white wines that can take a bit of a chill and remain flavorful. It helps cool you down if the white wine in question has a zingy, refreshing array of aromas and flavors. Finding this kind of wine and sipping it after a long day can feel like imbibing a cool breeze.

If you're looking for such a wine, look no further than the 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (available for $14-$19). This is a new take on an old favorite, since Dry Creek Vineyards have been making Sauvignon Blanc from Dry Creek Valley fruit since the early 1970s under the name "Fumé Blanc" in a nod to the Loire's white wines. Beginning with 2008, however, they are labeling the wine "Sauvignon Blanc."

The wine is a domestic Sauvignon Blanc that can hold its head up among zingy New Zealand bottlings, but has a bit more softness and is far less assertive. The juice never sees oak, and the softness in the wine comes from a small amount of Sauvignon Musqué that is added to the final blend. The wine has beautiful, luscious aromas of grass, hay, melon, and citrus. You will find the same notes in the flavors, with the melon and citrus taking a front seat which makes the wine very refreshing. The aftertaste takes those hay and grass notes and turns them herbal, and the freshness lingers nicely in your mouth.

I think if you tasted this blind, you might at first mistake it for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc--especially in its aromas. As the wine opens and the flavors develop, though, you get more melon and floral notes that add to the complexity. Excellent QPR.

This wine would be perfect with seafood, chicken, or salads--in short, the kinds of food we are all eating now as the Farmers Markets fill with produce and the prospect of turning on the stove seems very unappealing.

Kudos to the folks at Dry Creek Vineyards for breathing new life into an old favorite, and for showcasing all that the Dry Creek Valley has to offer in terms of quality and value.

Full Disclosure: I received this wine as a sample.

7 comments:

wineywhites said...

This has always been a reliable producer, to my taste, for good, basic wines, and the Fume Blanc is one I've liked for years. Anxious to try this wine - thanks!

decaturwine&fooddude said...

For right around $20 the Grey Stack Sauv Blanc Rosemary's vineyard is perhaps the best Cali has to offer in Sauv Blanc in this price range. Check it out.

Kevin Cohen said...

The Dry Creek Vineyards Fume Blanc is great if you like a more green, mineral driven sauv blanc. Great for the money and perfect for BYOB.

Have enjoyed their wines for years.

Thanks for the review!

Franschhoek Accommodation said...

This is a great affordable wine. I love it!

Claire said...

I don't think Dry Creek is capable of making a bad wine. I find myself buying it often. I've never had their Sauv Blanc (or Fume', for that matter), so I'm eager to try it!

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks for the suggestions, the confirmations, and the feedback. I've got those wines down on my wish list now.

Kim Wallace said...

I just came across this nice commentary...so glad you enjoyed our newest version of Sauvignon Blanc! It's a great example of what Dry Creek Valley SB is all about...crisp and citrusy yet lush and floral. I want to clarify though. We are still making our classic Fume Blanc which is a Sonoma County appellation and emphasizes a more grassy traditional style. Many thanks!

Kim (aka Wilma)