Ferrari-Carano is not a name generally associated with bargain wines. We encountered our one and only Ferrari-Carano bargain when the label was just getting started. We lived near F-C's beautiful chateau-style winery, and when we stopped by to taste the wine, we were amazed by the quality and the price. To attract new customers, the winemaker sold its bottles at a low price for the first year. Then it began to charge what these stunning wines were worth.
The recession is hitting everybody, so we weren't totally surprised to see F-C's prices come down a bit from their usual $20 range, even though the quality is still generally very high. But we recently found a bottle of Fumé Blanc marked down to our $10 limit. (When not on sale, it sells for as much as $15.)
Because of the partial aging in French oak barrels, this Sauvignon Blanc tastes more like a Chardonnay (thus the Fumé Blanc name), with a big citrus mouth that includes grapefruit, lemon, and a bit of orange. F-C blends grapes from three nearby appellations — Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, and Russian River — to get the best flavor for this wine.
If you find this Fumé anywhere near the bargain price we found, we recommend giving it a try.