We tried last night (7/13/16) Some New White Wines:
DryCreekVnyd SauvBlanc DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (SaH: 23.8 Brix; Frmtd: 92% SS/8% barrel; 14.5%;
TA: 0.62; www.DryCreekVineyard.com) Healdsburg 2015: Light yellow color; very strong herbal/mineral/bit weedy/
aspargras/classic SB nose; fairly tart/lean rather herbal/weedy/aspargras/classic SB bit mineral flavor;
very long herbal/weedy/aspargras/classic SB bit mineral/stony; more towards the NZ SB spectrum. $nc (KS)/$18.00
DryCreekVnyd Fume Blanc/SauvBlanc SonomaCnty (13.5%; Vine age: 17+ yrs) 2015: Med.light yellow color; lighter
less stony/herbal more figgy/melony/ripe light oak rather quiet/low-key more interesting nose; less tart some
figgy/melony/SB lightly herbal light oak slight tangy/metallic flavor; long somewhat figgy/melony/ripe/SB
lightly herbal finish; a more ripe quiet expression but more interesting SauvBlanc; quite a lovely SB at
a great price. $nc (KS)/$14.00
DryCreekVnyd SauvBlanc Taylor’sVnyd/MusqueClone/DryCreekVlly (425 cs; 14.1%) 2014: Med.light color; very fragrant/
perfumed floral/SB/melony almost muscatty light toasty/oak quite lovely nose; softer/riper very lush very strong
floral/SB/melony slight muscat-like/floral light toasty/oak flavor; very long/lingering ripe/lush/balanced
quite floral/melong/SB light toasty/oak finish; very perfumed almost muscat-like aromatics; a beautiful
rendition of Calif SB. $nc (KS)/$28.00
DryCreekVnyd Chard DCV Estate Block 10/RRV (100% barrel frmtd; 85% malolactic; 14.5%; TA: 0.62;
SaH: 23.7 Brix; 1253 cs) 2014: Med.yellow color; lovely perfumed light toasty/pencilly/oak very strong
ripe/melony/lemony/pear/Chard light spicy/nutmeg very attractive nose; rather lush/ripe very melony/
lemony/classic Chard bit spicy/nutmeg light toasty/pencilly/oak very balanced restrained flavor; very
long/lingering ripe/melony/Chard/pear/spicy light pencilly/toasty/oak finish; a beautiful balanced/
restrained/nuanced Chard at a great price. $nc (KS)/$24.00
More blatherings from TheBloodyPulpit:
FumeBlanc: According to the JancisRobinson book, DaveStare was the first person to name his dry SauvBlanc as
FumeBlanc, as in Pouilly-Fume. This is not correct. In '68, RobertMondavi made a dry (they’d been off-dry before),
barrel-frmtd SauvBlanc, but realized that marketing it could be difficult. So he coined the name Fume Blanc" to
denote this change in style. To his credit, he did not trademark the name and allowed others to freely use it.
SauvMusque: This is a particularly aromatic clone that was “discovered” by DougMeador/Ventana, lurking on the
grape variety list of UC/Davis FPS. He planted it in Monterey & very much preferred its strong aromatic character.
It has been planted w/ greater frequency in Calif but seldom labeled as Sauv Musque. There is also a Chard Musque,
though I’ve never heard of a Chard made from this clone in Calif.
DryCreekVnyds: I have, of course, followed DCV from the very start, when DaveStare released his '72 GamayBeaujolais.
I think now, under winemaker TimBell, DCV are consistently making the finest wines they ever have. Across the
full spectrum of varietals. And still reasonably priced.
Big fan of Dry Creek Vineyards zin’s (Heritage is in the discussion for one of the best value reds), but was pretty underwhelmed by their Chenin Blanc. Was excited to try it…but found it pretty boring and nondescript.
Granted it was like $15…but even at that price, I’m going to gift my last bottle to one of my non-wino friends.
Yup…would tend to agree w/ that assessment, Rich. The CheninBlanc is probably the weakest link in their lineup.
Grapes come from the Clarksburg/Delta area…which I’m not convinced is that good a growing area. OTOH, you
can find it for around $10 and it’s a pretty enough wine for that price. Just not all that interesting.
We’ve been buying the Heritage Zin '14 for $13.50…a stupid/silly price.
As I understand it, the Rued Selection/Clone (which?) of Chardonnay is a “musque” clone.
“…But today many newer plantings have gone back to working with offshoots of the Old Wente clone, including Hyde, See’s, Spring Mountain and Rued musque selections, which perform extremely well in cool-climate conditions.”
So I"m going to go ahead and retract my previous statement about Dry Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc being boring and nondescript.
I’m currently on a cruise to Bermuda, and this is one of their white offerings in the “Cellar Masters” lounge…and given the selection…it’s suddenly become one of the best white’s I’ve ever had in my life.
When I sent my TN’s to Kim Stare, she scolded me for getting them wrong on the SauvBlanc vs. FumeBlanc.
I thought the SauvBlanc was more herbaceous & weedy, the FumeBlanc more rich & lush. Just the opposite
of Kim’s take.
So Fri I stopped by to meet Sara Rathbun, the new lady to take over BillSmart’s position of MarketingDirector.
I was impressed by Sara. Bill leaves some big shoes to fill, but I think Sara’s feet will fit right in them.
We had a very nice visit & I asked to retaste these three DCV SauvBlancs. I stand by my original
TN’s. Sorry, Kim.
I also tasted the unreleased DCV3 SauvBlanc '14. Was also very much impressed by it…almost up to the
level of the Taylor’s SauvMusque I thought. Sorry…no TN’s on it. I fear I’d get another scolding from Kim!!!