The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2014

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F ounded in 1981, Ferrari-Carano now owns 1,500 acres of vine- yards across five appellations in Northern California. Visitors to the sprawling Tuscan-inspired estate in Dry Creek Valley are most familiar with the Chardonnay and Fumé Blanc, the workhorse wines on which Don and Rhonda have built their empire. There, three winemakers each oversee individual wineries, putting them as close as possible to the fruit source, and they collectively make 20 different wines every year—including small production and incredibly distinc- tive single vineyard wines. THE TASTING PANEL asked each winemaker to give us their tast- ing and pairing notes on a selected wine: Expressing Northern California's Diverse Terroir EXPLORING FERRARI-CARANO'S SINGLE VINEYARD WINES by Courtney Humiston Sarah Quider: Executive Winemaker; maker of white wine 2012 Ferrari-Carano Dominique Chardonnay, Russian River Valley A lovely golden yellow, this single vineyard Chardonnay smells of pears, yellow apples and baking spice. 100 percent barrel fer- mented; 22 percent new French oak; 95 percent malo. The palate is luscious and layered but with lively acidity; the finish is clean with a pleasing note of maple. Pair with pasta in a light cream sauce and scallops, shrimp or lobster. Christine Ackerman: Winemaker of Pinot Noir 2010 Ferrari-Carano Sky High Ranch Pinot Noir, Mendocino Ridge From a high altitude non-contiguous appellation referred to as "the islands in the sky," comes a complex, structured Pinot Noir. The fruit aromas and flavors are black and blue, bordering on blueberry compote with layers of savory herbs and forest floor reminiscent of the conifers and redwoods that surround the vineyard. Pair with fowl and gamey meats. Rebecca Deike: Associate Winemaker; oversees red wine production 2010 Ferrari-Carano Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Mountain Vineyards, Alexander Valley The intensity and concentration of this wine is defined by the rocky, dry-farmed soil of their mountainside plant- ings. Complex aromatics of cedar, tobacco and black fruits—just to the left of cassis—lead to an opulent but structured experi- ence on the palate; the tannins are downright chewy. This wine calls out for sharp, aged cheese or a juicy steak with chimichurri. WINEMAKER NOTES

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