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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