Fumé Blanc

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Fumé Blanc is the curious descendant of the Loire synonym blanc fumé for the white grape variety sauvignon blanc. In the early 1970s, California’s famous ideas man Robert mondavi had one of his most famous inspirations, that of renaming the then unfashionable Sauvignon Blanc, Fumé Blanc, thereby imbuing it with some of the glamour of imported French Pouilly-Fumé. He also gave it some oak ageing and a dark green bordeaux-shaped bottle (both entirely alien to Pouilly-Fumé). This less-than-authentic formula proved a runaway success and Fumé Blanc became the highly successful name of a wine type in America, New Zealand, and elsewhere, even if there is little agreement about what exactly that wine type is.