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Wine of the week: Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc 2016

Ferrari-Carano Fume BlancThe Ferrari-Carano fume blanc is California white wine that offers quality and value at a fair price

Can California deliver quality at a fair price, where the fair price isn’t $20 because that’s what the wine business says it should be? Yes, and the Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc is proof that it can.

The Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc ($13, sample, 13.8%) is sauvignon blanc with a bit of oak, an approach that usually isn’t needed and is too often overdone. But here, the oak adds to the wine, giving it body that it wouldn’t normally have and doing so without any oaky flavor. Dare I say the wine is tasteful, in that way we rarely seen any more in favor of too much fruit? And its success in this proves once again that judging a wine before you taste it is the mark of a small mind.

In addition, the wine tastes like California sauvignon blanc is supposed to taste – Sonoma terroir even, with the necessary grassy note, some citrus that isn’t grapefruit, and a stony finish. It doesn’t taste like it came from New Zealand or made by a committee to appease a supermarket chain wine buyer. Pair this with chicken braised with mushrooms in white wine, and appreciate its difference.

Highly recommended, and a candidate for the $10 Hall of Fame (depending on how I feel about the price). This is so well made that it tastes like it should cost more – something we don’t see often enough from California.

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