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Wine Pick of the Week

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The Dry Creek Vineyard Family: Don Wallace, Kim Stare Wallace and Dave Stare The Dry Creek Vineyard Family: Don Wallace, Kim Stare Wallace and Dave Stare

“We’ve been fans of the wines of Dry Creek Vineyard for some time. Today’s ‘Pick’ is a wine we’ve written about several times over the years. However, each time has been a different vintage and, even in California, there can be variations from year to year."

Dry Creek Vnyd 2016 FumeBlanc Picmonkey

2016 Fumé Blanc


Dry Creek Vineyard

Sonoma County

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested retail: $15




“In making some notes when tasting any wine in these circumstances, your reviewer avoids looking at what he may have written about prior vintages. Sometimes the impressions can be quite different. Many things may affect a person’s sensory perceptions. The toothpaste he used an hour earlier or what he had for lunch could make a difference. In a formal tasting or competition, was he clearing his palate with water and crackers, or was there a little cheese available, too? If less formal circumstances, did he taste the wine on its own or with food?   There have been times when your reviewer has opened a bottle of something he remembers really liking—or disliking—in an earlier vintage and found an opposite impression. Was the the wine different or was the taster? It’s sometimes hard to say.

“As a newcomer to the Dry Creek Valley, Dave Stare had the foresight to plant Sauvignon Blanc grapes in 1972. The variety fared well and provided the fruit for his Fumé Blanc, which was to become Dry Creek Vineyard’s signature wine. Dave has passed the baton to his daughter, Kim Stare Wallace and her husband, Don, and the family is now celebrating 45 years of Sauvignon Blanc with the release of the winery’s 2016 Fumé Blanc, the wine we’ve chosen as our Pick of the Week.

“In the case of today’s Pick, the current 2016 release of Dry Creek Vineyard’s Fumé Blanc, it tasted just the way I remember the 2015. And the 2014. And so many prior vintages of this signature wine from Dry Creek Vineyard. And in a world that sometimes seems hell-bent on change just for the sake of change, consistency like this is to be lauded. One sniff and you know you’ve opened a Fumé Blanc and likely a Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé if you’re familiar with their style. The style, by the way, was inspired by Dave Stare’s familiarity with France’s Loire Valley and the wines he so enjoyed when visiting there. The Dry Creek 2016 Fumé Blanc is a delightful combination of citrus and that characteristic Sauvignon Blanc grassiness. The flavors are clean and bright, with a slight minerality in the background. Good acidity makes it an ideal companion for many foods. This wine is a model of consistency and it’s affordably priced.”

Food Affinity: “For us to single out one idea doesn’t preclude your finding an even better combination, as this wine will work with many dishes. However, having enjoyed a restaurant lunch of large grilled shrimp served in a garlic and butter sauce yesterday, your reviewer wants to replicate that idea at home soon and knows that the 2016 Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc will be perfect with it.


Editor's note: Wines reviewed in Taste California Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting iThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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