Definition - What does Fume Blanc mean?
Fume Blanc is a name that legendary winemaker Robert Mondavi developed for a wine style made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes during the 1960’s. At the time, Sauvignon Blanc was unpopular due to the name being hard to pronounce and the wines had a reputation for being poorly made and unbalanced.
Robert Mondavi knew he could make a great wine with Sauvignon Blanc but wanted to ensure the wine would sell. The new style along with the new name became popular very quickly. Even though Sauvignon Blanc is much more popular today, many wine houses still produce a Fume Blanc each harvest.
WineFrog explains Fume Blanc
Fume Blanc is not only considered an exceptional wine, it is also considered very savvy marketing by winemaker Robert Mondavi. During the 1960s wines made with Sauvignon Blanc were very unpopular; they were considered too sweet, too sour, too grassy and generally unbalanced.
Inspired by the great French white wines, Mondavi knew he would be able to make exceptional wines with Sauvignon Blanc grapes, so he created the name Fume Blanc. The style of wine he made had a deep oakiness with rich, more well-rounded sweet melon flavors. The wine became an instant hit.
Mondavi did not copyright or trademark the name, and other winemakers quickly began producing Fume Blanc wines. Today, many wine houses still produce Fume Blanc, even though Sauvignon Blanc is now popular, well-known and liked for its refreshing tart and citrusy flavor profile.