Fumé Blanc

Fumé Blanc is one of the widespread synonyms for sauvignon blanc and widely used in California (blanc fumé is another). This is purely a synonym; and it’s not true that as a group, wines labeled fumé blanc have an especially smoky character. Grown at high yields after Prohibition, sauvignon blanc became the basis for innocuous sweet and dry jug “Sauterne” (spelled without the final ‘s’ as it is in France). Sensing a marketing opportunity to distinguish its dry version, Robert Mondavi Winery branded their’s as “fume blanc,” a reference to the Pouilly Fumé wines of the Loire Valley. And Mondavi still makes a very fine example.

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