With all due respect to Mark Ellenbogen (and I sincerely mean that, because I do respect him tremendously), he was one of several wine list writers championing GV. One of the best, yes, certainly. But not the only one
Several restaurateur/sommelier/stewards, primarily in the trendy areas (the two Coasts and selected other places) tagged onto GV when Theise and a small handful of others started bringing in and tirelessly flogging (thank you thank you) GV. It's the nature of stewards to look for those precious new things. At about the same time, Albarino was "happening".
Starting in the mid to late 90s, I was teaching courses and giving seminars on "Traditions, Trends, and Blends" to many people in the trade. This morphed into my company's "Center for Global Wine Education", wherein we processed hundreds of influential tradespeople (distributors, retailers, restaurateurs) through a three day intensive program on the global aspects of wine, with one of the culminating seminars a tasting/discussion on what were then the current trends...and what we thought were the immediate trends coming down the pike.
From the beginning, we included GV in that seminar. In the beginning I would ask for a show of hands of these wine pros how many had ever had a GV (or even knew about it). Almost always got no response, or very, very few that had ever tasted it. Later, a few were aware of but had not had it. Then, it seemed, GV was at least known by most, and had been consumed by many, and several were selling it.
(The aforementioned Albarinho was usually included in those seminars, as were, at differing times, Rueda, Bierzo Mencia, Dry Roses, Mourvedre/Mataro/Monastrell, Pinotage, Fiano/Greco/Falanghina, Riesling (as the Comeback Kid), Priorato, Prosecco, Marsanne and Muscat.)
The point of all this is that while one or two folks can be early influencers, it takes the effort of lots and lots of people to be aware of, champion, and push the rise of a trend...especially one resulting in the firm establishment of a new flavor/style/variety and a "new" wine producing reigon for the world.
I would add that the rise of GV (along with Riesling and some other crisp, dry, aromatic whites, as well as PN) would not have been nearly as quick or successful, had it not coincided with the monumental changes in the eating habits, and particularly the restaurant cuisines, of this country. Or, in other words, how great would Mark's wine list be at The Slanted Door if there wasn't a Slanted Door??? The genius (and it is genius) of the SD list is that it so perfectly matches the foods and flavors and aromas of the SD menu. If the food had not changed in this country, the wines would not have had the impetus for change either.