Grgich Hills Estate
2010 Napa Valley Fumé Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc •Estate Grown
California: Napa Valley
Crown Me Champion
The 2010 Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Fumé Blanc is an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps one of the best we’ve had the pleasure of tasting all year.
Great complexity on the nose and palate with a full and sturdy structure for a lighter white. Enjoy this wine with anything spicy, from Thai food to buffalo wings, or as the perfect way to welcome in the spring. This delicious white is drinking beautifully, right now.
Brilliantly clear straw-yellow with light pale golden and yellow streaks when held to the light. The color lightens only slightly along the edges. When swirled, random clusters of fat legs thin out as they descend, ringing the glass.
A blend of bright citrus, fresh apricot and green apple leads you in on the nose. These are followed by complex aromas of citrus, blossom honey and flowers, soft spice and subtle hints of green, grassy herbs.
Fresh keylime and citrus fruit, tart green apple, apricot and tropical melon flavors all take center stage. These flavors blend with soft green herbs and grassy notes, with a touch of hot peppery spice that balances against the weighty texture and bright fruit.
Long clean and fresh, this racy wine leaves just enough of a hint of its bright fruit and other complex flavors to invite another sip.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
93 Points - The Tasting Panel - “She’ll trick you: this stunningly sleek white has what it takes to be a Sauv Blanc (citrus verve) but the weight, texture and honeyed character (a Riesling came to mind at second sip) speaks as much to the use of French oak as it does to the spending six months on the lees. But this 100-percent Sauv Blanc is a floral flirt, and her tone remains crisp and whetted our appetite with every bite of our meal”
93 Points - Wine Review Online - “Grgich Hills has a slightly different interpretation of Sauvignon Blanc than many others, which always makes me reach for it when I see it on a wine list. Theirs is slightly rounder, less edgy and frankly, more complex. The interplay of the pleasantly aggressive side of Sauvignon Blanc with the wine’s richly textured body keeps you coming back for more. A touch of intriguing spice makes it even more captivating”
90 Points - California Grapevine - “Medium-light yellow; intense, herbal, stylistic, rather aggressive varietal aroma with a light trace of sulfur; medium-full body; assertive, crisp, herbal, grassy flavors; lingering aftertaste. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”
San Francisco Chronicle - “Grgich taps estate parcels in American Canyon and Carneros for this racy but deep-flavored effort. The 2010 is paricularly dramatic, full of verbena, kaffir lime, apricot and melon flavors, with an intense freshness but subtle weight. They’ve embraced a style that transcends the old-time moniker—as even they seem to know, adding “Dry Sauvignon Blanc” on the label.”
About This Wine:
Relying on naturally-occurring yeasts, we fermented 80% of the grapes in 900-gallon French oak casks, called foudres, with the remainder in previously-used small French oak barrels. We then aged the wine six months on its lees (the spent yeast) in neutral barrels. The cool growing season produced crisp, yet rich, favors of lychee, jalapeño and white pepper that are perfect with a wide range of food, including green salad topped by Chèvre cheese, grilled seafood, and spicy Mexican or Asian cuisine.
Vintage: Cool and long sum up the 2010 growing season. Spring temperatures were below average with above average rain, pushing back budbreak by two weeks. The cool temperatures continued into summer allowing for steady but slow grape ripening until a series of heat spikes brought much-needed heat to ripen grapes to full maturity.
Vineyard: All of our vineyards are certifed organic and Biodynamic®. This holistic farming practice uses the earth’s natural cycles and organic preparations to grow balanced, healthy vines without artifcial fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides. Our Sauvignon Blanc grapes come from our American Canyon and Carneros vineyards in the southern tip of Napa Valley, near San Pablo Bay, which spills into San Francisco Bay. The coolness restrains vigor and allows the grapes to develop a crisp liveliness that is impossible to achieve in warmer areas. About 80% of our Sauvignon Blanc is planted to the Musqué clone, which provides elegant foral aromatics.
Varietals: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Total acidity: 7.1 g/L
Fermentation: indigenous yeast
Time in oak: 6 months on lees in neutral barrels
Type of oak: French oak 20% neutral barrels, 80% 900-gallon casks
Harvest date: September 17-28, 2010
Sugar: 23.1˚ Brix (average)
Bottling date: April 11, 2011
About the Winery
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Eminent French judges chose Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu!
The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. Today, we remain committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. We are proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but we are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.
Winemaker Ivo Jeramaz
Ivo was born in Croatia to a family of grape growers and as boy he assisted in making wine for his family’s enjoyment. In 1986, with the help of his uncle, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, Ivo followed his dream and came to Napa Valley.
He quickly fell in love with the scenic beauty of the area and became fascinated with wine making. During his almost-three decades at Grgich Hills Ivo has worked his way up in responsibility, learning the classic style and art of winemaking from his uncle, supported by the tools of science and technology.
While he has taken enology and viticulture courses at UC Davis, Ivo says, “I’ve learned more working in the vineyards and in the winery with Mike.” Under the guidance of his uncle, Ivo is now responsible for the day-to-day operations in the cellar and the vineyard.
“At Grgich Hills, we grow grapes like my grandfather did, farming without chemicals and pesticides,” Ivo says. “Mike taught me early in my career that you need great grapes to make great wine. Over the years, I’ve focused on working with the land. Through our natural farming, it’s been very rewarding to see the soil alive with healthier plants than under conventional farming. It allows the wines to be more authentic—more distinctive.”
Since 2003, our vineyards have been in full production, and our wines are 100% estate-grown, produced, and bottled. We have 366 total acres planted in five vineyards that form a string of pearls running through the heart of Napa Valley: American Canyon, Carneros, Yountville, Rutherford, and Calistoga.
Each has its own unique climate, and we have carefully chosen the varietals best-suited for each vineyard’s terroir. Because our vineyards are so vital to the success of our winemaking, we put great emphasis on being thoughtful stewards of our land and vines. We have done so for more than 30 years, and that is one primary reason why Grgich Hills has consistently produced award-winning wines that are enjoyed across America and all around the world.
Sustainable Farming Practices
Our guiding philosophy is quite simple: great wines always begin with exceptional fruit. Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, we farm our five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, and they are all Certified Organic.