Sometimes you come across a great wine by pure serendipity rather than research. That is clearly the case with this month’s Value Wine No. 2: The 2011 Fume Blanc Rutherford from JRE Wines. I was fortunate to meet John Eppler, the proprietor and winemaker of JRE Wines at a recent tasting of a large number of Howell Mountain wine producers. I found that John is an engaging fellow Texan who developed a passion for winemaking a couple of decades ago and has been pursuing the “Great American Dream” since then. Although I was very impressed with both the full-bodied Howell Mountain and Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignons produced by John, which were without question world class, I was totally intrigued by his 2012 Fume Blanc Rutherford, made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the Rutherford Appellation of Napa Valley. In the same way that many of us have tried unsatisfactory Chardonnay that was overly buttery or just plain bitter on the aftertaste, many wine drinkers have a baseline opinion of Sauvignon Blanc (Fume Blanc is an alternative name, as John Eppler has chosen) that isn’t always flattering. Well, if you haven’t tried the JRE Wines Fume Blanc, you are missing out on something special. Although it has a great nose of citrus and particularly grapefruit, the wine is deftly balanced, medium bodied and has lingering finish reminding one of a white Bordeaux with a touch of Semillon. This wine, which retails for a little over $20, was awarded 90 points and a Gold Medal in the recent Chicago Wine Competition for good reason. John’s wines are produced in small quantities, but can be found at some Southwestern retailers such as Spec’s—or better yet, reach out to John at his website: www.jrewines.com.