'e' wine of the week

By Bruce Cochran

Hello Everyone,

Congratulations to Bordino’s and chef Chrissy Sanderson who are currently featured in a nationally published newsletter from California winery Vina Robles in the Paso Robles wine region. Bordino’s is featuring Vina Robles WHITE4 at their Valentine’s Art and Wine Dinner today. Let’s celebrate this national recognition of one of our state’s fine restaurants with a discussion of a great American wine story.

Try a new wine this week!

— Bruce

Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc from Jardine

More than 40 years ago, Robert Mondavi created something new from something old. He called his new style of white wine from sauvignon blanc grapes “Fume Blanc.” Made to represent the style of sauvignon blanc from northwestern France’s Loire Valley as opposed to the southwestern French style of Bordeaux, this crisp, lively, only-slightly-oaked wine was sauvignon blanc’s first “modern” interpretation.

Mr. Mondavi didn’t protect the name Fume Blanc, so other wineries soon took advantage of the wine’s success in the marketplace. Many began to bottle sauvignon blanc in both styles: Bordeaux-styled “Sauvignon Blanc” and Loire-styled “Fume Blanc.”

Less than 20 years ago, U.S. wine distributors (I among them), were being presented with an ever-increasing number of sauvignon blancs in another new style from a country that few of us expected — New Zealand. This style was unoaked with very tart, palate-cleansing fruit acids. They were described with terms like “gooseberry,” “lime,” “minerality” and “kiwi.” Those were words that few of us had been using until that time. Some called New Zealand sauvignon blancs “the margarita of the wine world.”

A current generation of sauvignon blancs combines a French-like elegance and New Zealand’s “New World exuberance” with California fruit.

Bruce Cochran has traveled to every major wine region on four continents. A 30-year veteran of the wine trade, he taught continuing education wine classes for 26 years at colleges throughout Arkansas.

Categories: Legacy Archive