The East Coast got a break in its recent dreary stretch of cloudy, damp weather on a Sunday when my family was having a get-together at my brother's house. We were able to spend a couple hours outdoors, enjoying the sun and playing with the dogs, followed by a simple but flavorful dinner of grilled chicken and pasta salad with vegetables.
Among the wines I brought for everyone to try was Dry Creek Vineyard's 2007 Fumé Blanc (another name for Sauvignon Blanc, used most often in California), which I'd picked up at a retailer's sale for only $11.
Light, crisp and citrusy, leaning toward grapefruit, with grassy notes, it was like a dash of lemon squeezed over the pasta salad, brightening the dish. The minerally finish, tinged with sea salt and herbs, left me yearning for a plate of oysters as an even better match. (Some other time perhaps.) 87 points, non-blind.
The wine clearly hadn't seen any oak. Dry Creek Vineyard's style was originally inspired by Loire Valley wines; its two small-production, single-vineyard Sauvignon Blancs—a bottling of the Musqué clone from Taylor's Vineyard and its DCV3 estate bottling—are also fermented in stainless steel with no barrel aging. But the winery is apparently taking a slightly different tack with its 2008 vintage, releasing a Dry Creek Valley appellation wine labeled as Sauvignon Blanc instead of Fumé; it's described as showing riper, more tropical fruit flavors, though it still doesn't get any oak treatment.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc Sonoma County 2007 ($15, 86 points).