I’ve just finished bottling the 2017 Fumé Blanc, I’ve only made a few of them over the years, but the fruit from the 2017 harvest was so magnificent I just couldn’t stop myself.
For those who are unsure but too afraid to ask, a Fumé Blanc, put quite simply, is an Oak Fermented Sauvignon Blanc. The term interestingly, is not coined by the French, but by the Californians – in particular Robert Mondavi in the late 1960’s. “Fumé” literally translates to “smoke,” but this has nothing to do with a “smoky” flavor in the wine, although that is a popular notion. It instead refers to the morning fog that covers the Loire Valley and is “as thick as smoke.”
Living and making wine in the Piccadilly Valley – it’s own micro-climate – it seemed the perfect location to produce a Fumé Blanc, those morning mists in the warming months and the beautiful haunting fog that rolls throughout the valley during the cooler ones, often remind me of the Loire Valley – a source of great inspiration towards my approach to wine-making.
Much like the fleeting moments of morning fog before the heat of the day chases it away, we also only produced a limited amount. 11 Months in French oak, it turned out wonderfully.
Release will be for cellar door exclusively, but what better excuse to languish in our Japanese garden over a lazy weekend and see what all the Fumé fuss is about.