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2002 Jacques & Francois Lurton "Les Fumees Blanches" Fume Blanc, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France

Jacques and Francois Lurton preside over a modern-day wine dynasty that breaks the mold of their predecessors. The sons of a well known Bordeaux owner-grower named André Lurton (of Châteaux Bonnet and Clos Fourtet among others) they have chosen to forsake their ties to the traditional estate, and instead become globe trotting multi-continental winemakers. The Lurton brothers either own vineyards or have control over vineyards in France, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and Uraguay, and use them to produce several lines of generally value-priced wines.

More experienced wine snobs have often scoffed at the Lurtons' high production, shotgun approach to producing a lot of wines globally, but a quick troll through the wine press shows them winning accolades as a producer of some of the worlds best wines in the sub $10 price range (they're frequently showing up as Wine Spectator's wines of the week).

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Southern France. The winemakers haven't told us much about the grapes other than they come from a warm vineyard site. It seems like it has seen some oak, but not heavy, and other than that, its anyone's guess.

Tasting Notes:
This wine glows a light green gold in the glass and fills the nose with scents of melon, pear, and white Ranier cherries along with some nice dried wheat aromas. On the palate it is cool and crisp with perfect acidity and flavors of limestone and green pears. The finish is especially nice, and incorporates unique flavors of clover honey. The wine is missing the blockbuster aromatics and/or stunning mineral and fruit that make for a truly amazing Sauvignon Blanc, but is nonetheless a solid effort.

Food Pairing:
I had mine with a large bowl of French style mussels in a garlic and herb broth. The snappy mineral flavors of the wine were a nice contrast to the slightly salty and garlic butter of the white wine infused broth.

Overall Score: 8.5/9

How Much?: $7

Try for this wine at your local store that tends to carry a lot of French imports. They are represented in the US by ExCellars importing. If you'd really like to get ahold of this wine, call them and they can point you to a retailer in your area.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud