Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and Dry Creek Vineyard Fume Blanc 2011

We tasted the Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and the Dry Creek Vineyard Fume Blanc 2011 side-by-side this past week with a few of our friends, and here is what we discovered about these two bargain white wines. First of all, and I think many of you know this, Fume Blanc is a term coined by Robert Mondavi back in the 1960’s. He needed something different to increase sales of his Sauvignon Blanc wine, so he re-labeled the wine as Fume Blanc and sales soared. The term Fume Blanc is used by many wineries, but rest assured that the contents are mainly the Sauvignon Blanc grape.

Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – $13 to $15 at various stores
I purchased this wine at the Safeway 30% off sale. Here is a little trick that Safeway uses. They list the regular price for the Whitehall at $19.98. The suggested retail price for this wine is $18. You do the math and you can easily see that in reality it is not 30% off. I ended up paying $12.60 after mixing and matching a half case of wine for an additional discount. At that price, I believe the Whitehall Lane S.B. to be a fantastic deal.

This is a first-class wine made from Napa Valley fruit, 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon. The Semillon, along with some slight barrel aging, gives this S.B. a character and flavor that distinguishes it from most California Sauvignon Blanc wines. It has gentle floral and citrus flavors and great texture in the mouth. It is, in my book, a terrific sipping wine. The finish is long, so you get a little extra enjoyment with each sip. I love the balance in this wine. It is crisp, yet not too acidic. Watch for this wine on sale because the 2012 should be released in early 2013. 89 Points.

Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2011

We visited the Whitehall Lane winery in early December and you can read about our visit if you wish on the Napa Valley Wine Blog.

Dry Creek Vineyards 2011 Fume Blanc – $9 to $11 Safeway and other stores

Dry Creek Fume Blanc

Dry Creek Fume Blanc

This is a totally different Sauvignon Blanc from the Whitehall Lane. It is made from 100% S.B grapes from the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. The wine has been fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks only. It has more of a grassy and acidic style and is more refreshing in a sense than the Whitehall Lane. It is quite lemony on the nose and finish. Folks who like an oaky and buttery Chardonnay might find this wine a bit tart and not enjoyable to drink. Tell them to open their eyes and drink this wine with some fried calamari with a lemony tartar sauce. They will love it. 88 Points.

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