The fleet from Ferrari-Carano is stellarDining Thursday, April 26th, 2012
This industry certainly has its perks and tasting great wine is just one. Last week, I had the great pleasure of sailing around San Diego harbor while tasting the flight and library of one of the best vineyards and wineries today.
For more than twenty-five years, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery has been one of the leading producers of world class wines. With great consistency, year after year their wines continue to win national acclaim. Headed up by Don and Rhonda Carano, their commitment to make memorable wine is evident in each vintage they produce.
Situated in Sonoma, Ferrari-Carano has vineyards in seven locations all through Napa and Sonoma. Their many labels produce grapes from Sauvignon Blanc to Zinfandel. They have reserve and private selections.
On this trip I was able to taste a fleet of their classic wines and a few of the limited releases. One of the more unique wines was one of the first we tasted for the day. The 2011 Bella Luce is a light white wine made with a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Gewürztraminer, Viognier and Pinot Blanc. The aroma is fragrant and offers layers of honeydew, lychee, pineapple and white peaches. Casked in 100 percent stainless steel, this wine does not go under malolactic fermentation so it retains its bright color and high acidity.
Probably one of their most famous and widely available is the Fumé Blanc. Now many people get confused about Fumé Blanc as it is not a different wine to Sauvignon Blanc. The word Fumé was first created by Robert Mondavi in 1968 as homage to the French Pouilly-Fumé. It is only in California that you will see a Fumé Blanc produced, as elsewhere it is always Sauvignon Blanc.
This 2011 release of Fumé Blanc brings classic flavors of grapefruit, lemon, lime, with hints of mango and guava. This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc grapes from various vineyards such as Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley.
Napa and Sonoma Valley’s are certainly known for producing Chardonnay and Ferrari-Carano produces one of the best. The 2010 release consists of 100 percent Chardonnay grown only in Sonoma. This led to a full-bodied Chardonnay with scents of apples and orange blossoms. Creamy toasted oak notes are blended with flavors of honey and cooked peaches.
One of the most interesting reds I tasted all day was a wine called Siena. A blend of primarily Sangiovese, with a little Malbec and Syrah, this beautifully balanced wine showed perfectly. Flavors of pomegranate and wild berries mixed with spices and cinnamon.
One of my all-time favorite Ferrari-Carano wines has to be the Tresor. Produced in very limited quantities, this limited release wine was inspired by the great wines of Bordeaux. This wine has considerable depth and is skillfully crafted every year. If you can get your hands on a bottle, this is a great one to stash away in the back as it will drink well for 15 -20 years.
All the wines I listed should be available at your local wine shop. Even Ralphs and Vons carry these great wines. If you have problems finding any, you can order directly from their Web site ferrari-carano.com. Treat yourself to a nice glass tonight.
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