Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc and Haywire Winery Chardonnay

The wine.

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Two dramatically different wines, and not just because the grapes are different. The lean, herbaceous, beautifully balanced Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc, $19, is a fantastic food wine, and we are thinking flash-grilled mussels and rustic bread, or almost any shellfish you crave. Robert Mondavi himself thought of calling this sauvignon blanc “fume”, as a way of distinguishing it as a terroir-driven California wine, and after all these years, what is in the bottle makes its own statement about character and quality. And speaking of terroir, the new release of Haywire Winery’s Canyonview Vineyard chardonnay, $23, is another step in the right direction for Okanagan wine. Not overly oaked, but bursting at the seams with fresh, ripe fruit and lovely acidity to bring it all together, this wine is ideal for sipping staring at the stars, which are now out much earlier than a month ago, or with some grilled salmon.

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October 8, 2014