Then & Now, Dry Creek Vineyard’s Fume’ Blanc

Cleaning out a much needed space on one of my bookshelves, I came across a notebook that was quite dusty.  Oh my gosh, it was my first book of wine tasting notes, dated 1992.  It was fun paging through and seeing what I had written back then.  Turning to my “American” section, I spotted a few notes on a wine tasted back then that I still enjoy today, Dry Creek Vineyard Fume’ Blanc.  I thought, here is a story in the making, “Then & Now”

Since my tasting notes were not very technical back in those days, (like the name of the wine, vintage, price, a few notes on the taste and a rating from 1-10), I thought I might try to contact someone at the winery and tell them about my project.  In my email I explained to them that I had tasted a 1992 Fume’ Blanc and now was tasting a 2005.  I could get all the technical info on the 2005 vintage, but what about the 1992?  Could anyone at the winery dig back into the archives and give me any info on how that wine was made in 1992?

I was thrilled when I got a return email from Bill Smart at the winery.  Bill thanked me for my inquiry and replied:

“Looking back at the 1992 vintage, this wine was indeed made in a different way.  The tasting note says that the wine was aged for four months in Nevers and Vosges French oak.  In addition, the primary fruit source (54%) was from the Alexander Valley.  In contrast, the current vintage of our Fume’ Blanc (2005) sees no oak and the fruit source for this wine has been narrowed to include only the Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley appellations.”

Wow, that is different from the way Dry Creek Vineyard makes the Fume’ Blanc today.  Now it is cold fermented in stainless steel tanks at 52 degrees for 25 days.  No barrel aging at all.

In my 1992 tasting notes, I said the wine was herbaceous, nice chilled and enjoyed on a summer evening, and I gave it a 9 rating.  (Well, so much for that bit of info).  On tasting the 2005 Fume’ Blanc, I find a nice zesty citrus aroma and flavor with hints of grapefruit.  It has a lovely crisp, lean and clean finish with a touch of mineral flavor at the end.  Not a long and lingering finish, but one that is pure and very satisfying.  You know, one of those wines when you set your glass down your mouth says, yum, think I need another sip!

I want to thank Bill Smart from Dry Creek Vineyard for his prompt and informative reply.  By the way, Dry Creek Vineyard is celebrating their 35th anniversay.  When the winery opened, a bottle of Fume’ Blanc sold for $3.25 a bottle.  I paid $9.99 for the 1992 vintage and $13.99 for the 2005 vintage. Still producing the same wine for 35 years and at such a great price, what more can I say!

Please visit their web site for lots of great information. I highly recommend that you pick up a bottle of Fume’ Blanc and see for yourself that wine “Then & Now” can be very interesting! 
What a great way to start the end of your day!

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Other Posts
Write for Wine Sediments
Of Harleys and Wine

Reader Comments

Be the first to leave a comment!