Wise Wine Review:
Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Fum� Blanc 2007

Cost Score = 9/10 Points
Taste Score = 8/10 Points
Availability Score = 9/10 Points (Additional stats below)

Since this past weekend marked the anniversary of Mondavi�s passing, it only seems proper to pay homage to his legacy by featuring one of his greatest achievements. As a tribute, I have chosen to feature Mondavi's Napa Valley Fum� Blanc as this week�s Wise Wine of the Week. After all, without Mondavi, Fum� Blanc would not exist today.

Although quite popular today, before the 1970�s the Sauvignon Blanc grape was not well liked in the United States. Wine lovers found it to be too sweet and lacking character. Robert Mondavi created Fum� Blanc so he could market his version of the Sauvignon Blanc grape in California without any of the negative publicity attached to the varietal.

Naming the Fum� Blanc after the Pouilly-Fume wine from the French Loire Valley, Mondavi�s take on this ostracized grape was more subtle and elegant. He strove to create a wine that would appeal more to wine lovers in the United States by replicating the admirable qualities of wine born from the Loire Valley. His vision was a success. By crafting a wine from the Sauvignon Blanc grape that people found desirable, Mondavi created a wine legacy lasting for decades.

Today, this legacy lives on in Mondavi�s Napa Valley 2007 Fum� Blanc: an excellent example of a wine that can be easily found, tastes great, and is relatively inexpensive.

(Continue browsing below for the scores�)

Vintage Info:
�The 2007 vintage was ideal for Sauvignon Blanc in Napa Valley. Responding to a cold, dry winter and scant spring rains (rainfall in northern California was 40% to 50% lower than average in 2007), vine vigor was minimized from the outset and the vines didn�t produce too much foliage. Spring temperatures were warm, and the growing season started out fast with early bloom and fruit set. Then the weather cooled and mild temperatures prevailed throughout the summer and into August. Through sunny days and foggy evenings, the grapes ripened slowly and evenly.

Picking began for Sauvignon Blanc on August 8 at a relaxed pace, and most of the fruit was in the winery when a heat wave came through around Labor Day. The harvest tempo picked up briefly, then slowed down again as cooler temperatures returned. The last of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes came into the winery on September 19. Because of the cold, dry winter, 2007 crop levels were slightly lower than usual, but thanks to the mild summer weather, Sauvignon Blanc quality was consistently excellent." �Robert Mondavi

Mondavi Glass Bottle
Glass Full of Fum�

Recommended Food Pairing:
Fum� Blanc is a very drinkable wine that can join the company of a wide assortment of foods including fish, creamy cheeses, and poultry. I tasted this wine alongside a delicious meal of balsamic BBQ chicken and a pile of primavera risotto. This pairing created a contrasting compliment without being lost on the palate. The wine sang to my senses alongside the deliciously simple meal.

Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
Vintage: 2007
Varietal: 92% Sauvignon Blanc, 8% Semillon
Appellation: Napa Valley, CA
Residual Sugar: N/A
pH: N/A
Production: N/A
Alcohol %: 14.5
Aging: Aged three months in French oak barrels (6% new)
Cost: ~$18

Wine Whore Score:

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This Fum� has a great bouquet that with fumes of sweet melon entwined with citrus. On the tongue, you�ll discover an oak enhanced floral tang topped with a hint of peach. This wine has just the right amount of sweetness and structure without becoming cloying making it elegant, soft and very easy to drink.

For the price, this wine is packed with character and enjoyability. Selling for less than $20 per bottle, this wine scores an impressive 9 for both cost AND enjoyability. Topping off the ratings with a highly regarded 8.5 for taste earns Mondavi a total score of 34 out of 40 points and an average score of 8.5 out of 10 points.

Try this inexpensive example of Fum� Blanc and find out for yourself how Mondavi transformed the Sauvignon Blanc into the well respected wine it is today.

(Read more wine reviews and info at The Wine Whore)

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Frugal Wino said...

Thanks for this review. Sounds delicious. Going to try it with a Cod dish alongside a Spinach & Goat Cheese salad instead of the usual Sauvignon Blanc. Always fun to try something new.

Shelly said...

What a great story and great marketing by Mr. Mondavi. I always love to learn a daily bit of wine info and appreciate that I only have to come here to get it.


Mark from NJ said...

Excellent review...Sav. Blanc is always my go-to white wine for either sipping or to compliment a meal. The Mondavi Fume Blanc seems to be strong year after year and although I dont care too much for hints of oak in my sav. blancs, this release is nicely done.

jFLASHj said...

I have always loved the Fume from Mondavi. Sauv. Blanc or Fume in general would be my first choice for a starter wine as the meal begins. Great Salad or shell fish wine.

Kort said...

Sounds like it would go really well along with some Rosemary Roasted Chicken and baked asparagus with pine nuts.

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