Must-Try Wine of the Week: 2013 Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc

Did you know that September is California Wine Month? All the more reason to suggest this signature offering from Ferrari-Carano, representing a blend of 100 percent sauvignon blanc grapes from Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Russian River Valley. The name, “fumé blanc,” was coined by iconic winemaker Robert Mondavi to indicate a style of sauvignon blanc modeled after the Loire Valley wines, specifically Pouilly-Fumé.

Whole cluster, crushed, and pressed into stainless steel tanks for 48 hours of cold settling, the juice is then either transferred to stainless steel tanks (65 percent) or older French oak barrels ($35 percent) for fermentation. The wine in barrels is aged on its lees and stirred everyweek for a month.

Its inviting aromas of peach, kiwi, and lemon lead to crisp flavors of white peach, pear, and lemon drop. Nicely balanced, it offers good staying power on the palate and a sleek finish with notes of peach, apple, mango, and subtle nutty oak. This wine is easy to like, with no interveninggrassy character found in many sauvignon blancs.

Bottled under screw cap and priced at only $14, this dry white is a versatile companion for the beach, park, or back yard. Drink it while it’s still young and full of life. Opened and unfinished bottles can be placed in the refrigerator for several days without loss of character. Match this wine with appetizers such as Marcona almonds and olives; light pastas such as capellini with shrimp and tomatoes; or substantial entrees including grilled salmon or rotisserie chicken with asparagus.

It’s widely distributed in Orange County. You’ll find it at Hi-Time Wine Cellars, Wine Exchange, Total Wine & More, and various grocery stores.

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