Turns out that Fie` Gris or Sauvignon Rose` as it is also called is an ancestor of Sauvignon Blanc. An ancestor that was of a slightly different color. Almost all grapes the have Gris or "Gray" in their name are slightly red colored when they are ripe, think Pinot Gris/Grigio et al., and thus seem to have a little more body and texture in the resulting wines than the wines that have Blanc in them. Don't know why this is, but it seems to hold true.
This particular Fie` Gris is from the Cotes d'Auxerre region of France that used to be part of Chablis, and shares much of the same soil and climate as Chablis, but somehow after phylloxera was determined to be on its own. Probably not a good idea from a monetary standpoint but certainly good for us as Fie` Gris is allowed to be planted (as well as Pinot Noir) in the Cotes d'Auxerre whereas they are not allowed in Chablis (or at least to be called Chablis proper).
The 1997 was definitely one for the weird wine file. Deep gold core out to a water-white rim, the wine certainly had the aroma of an older wine, all lanolin and honey in the nose with a touch of backed pears and surprisingly a little bit of fresh heirloom tomato stem, just off the vine.
In the mouth was where the wine really came alive with also sorts of flavors dancing on my tongue from baked pears to wildflower honey with a little pine resin as well (in a good way). The acidity must have been overwhelming in its youth but has now calmed down with time although it was still pretty racy. The mouthfeel was round and juicy.
Overall, for a 13 year old white from an obscure grape variety, pretty damn good.
We have the new vintage, the 2007, but I haven't tasted it yet. Maybe I should to make a comparison?