Domestic Selection: Fume’ Blanc, 1988, Lambert Bridge
The Lambert Bridge wine estate was once part of the ranch of a Mr. C.L. Lambert, who owned much of Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley in the early 1900’s. The acreage included a school, a store, a road and a bridge (the bridge was named after him and spans Dry Creek). So when winery founder and owner architect Gerald “Jerry” Lambert purchased the property in 1970, the Lambert name was purely coincidence. Because the winery was clearly visible from the bridge he simply adopted the name for his winery from the attractive landmark.
A pioneer in planting premium varietals in the area during the early 1970’s, the contemporary Mr. Lambert states: ” I am convinced the vineyards are the reason the grapes are outstanding and make top quality wine.” His winemaker Ed Killian (with a Masters Degree in Enology from U.C. Davis) elaborates: “Our estate vineyards produce outstanding fruit; my job is to preserve the integrity of these grapes while accentuating their inherent quality.” A host of gold and silver medals won annually easily validates their shared philosophy. The Fume’ Blanc, or Sauvignon Blanc, is a newcomer for Lambert Bridge. The 1988 vintage is the first year of release for this varietal.
As the leading white wine grape of France’s Bordeaux and Loire Valley regions, Sauvignon Blanc is distinguished by several sterling characteristics. It can yield a wine of unexcelled voluptuousness, at the same time being capable of producing vintages of a crisp steely personality. One main notable aspect of Fume’ is its distinctive “grassy” aroma which, depending on Mother Nature and the wine-maker, can be more or less pronounced. Traditionally, in Bordeaux (as in our selection), a modest percentage of fruity tasting Semillon is blended with the Sauvignon to make a wine of added dimension.
This example appears a flawlessly brilliant medium pale gold in the glass. The nose is rich, bearing peach, apricot, and plum aromas mixed with just a hint of grassiness. The mouth impression is mellow, yet with assertive intense acid. Simultaneous fruit flavors are evident which lead to a pleasant, clean plum-like finish.
Serve this versatile wine nicely chilled with hors d’ oeuvres, seafood appetizers or lightly sauced chicken entrees.
Cellaring Notes: It should continue to mellow and gain richness for at least two more years.
Reviewed by Larry Tepper
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