Monday, November 16, 2015

#FCWinterWines with Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery

This time of year wineries across the country market selected seasonal wines ready to be uncorked for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last week Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery participated in this trend by hosting a #FCWinterWines Twitter tasting.  Executive Winemaker Sarah Quider lead this event  focusing on three wines they feel fit into this category.A little about Ferrari-Carano first. Don and Rhonda Carano started the winery in 1981 with the initial release in 1987 with a Fumé Blanc and an Alexander Valley Chardonnay. Both Quider and Steve Domenichelli, Director of Vineyard Operations, have worked for the winery for over 25 years which speaks for itself. From those first two wines, the winery now produces dozens of wines sourced from 24 vineyards located in five different appellations.

2012 Ferrari-Carano Reserve Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros ($38) - produced from Wente clones grown primarily from their Carneros vineyard. The wine is heavily oaked, from primary fermentation, to malolactic fermentation, and aging sur lie (on lees) for eight months.  The individual casks are then blended together and the wine is aged an additional five months in neutral French oak. Thus, this is one oaked wine where the spice and malo creaminess are dominant. Initially the Chardonnay flavor gets lost among the oak, but resurfaces near the finish as the acids transport the flavor forward. There is plenty going on within this wine; maybe too much. The winery suggests pairing with shellfish, poultry and richer foods that "enhance this fuller bodied and deliciously creamy wine".

2013 Ferrari-Carano Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($36) - produced from three ranches in Anderson Valley and processed in a FC owned facility dedicated to solely to Pinot Noir. Why Anderson Valley? Quider mentioned that this region provides more tannins and denser fruit than in Russian River Valley- thus a bigger wine. After primary fermentation, using multiple yeast strains, the blended wine is treated 10 months in new and neutral French oak barrels. The result is an excellent wine starting with the dusty tobacco nose and moving to the creamy red cherry-currant center. The wine finishes rather long, with light tannins and some baking spice. This is a wine well worth sipping on its own, but the winery suggest "salmon, fowl and meat entrees such as beef bourguignon or rack of lamb".

2012 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Trésor ($52) - five grape Bordeaux blend (71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 7% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc) harvested from the best lots in the winery's Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys vineyards. After primary and malo fermenting the wine is aged 21 months in various types of French Oak. And the wine stands tall with this oak treatment as the dark fruit is prevalent on the nose and in the palate. There's also plenty of chewy tannins that linger with the acids. Another fabulous wine. If only I could afford it more often.CF suggests that the "Trésor complements lamb, beef and duck dishes that are roasted or braised. Try Trésor with strong-flavored cheeses such as Gorgonzola and sharp Cheddar". I'm thinking brisket.

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