The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2016

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92  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2016 Dry Creek Valley To the west of Alexander Valley, and much like its Region III climate, Dry Creek Valley is one of the warmer AVAs within Sonoma Country and also where the Ferrari-Carano Estate winery is located. Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and, of course, Zinfandel— the area's star grape— is grown here, consisting of over 6,000 acres of vines. Russian River Valley Most of the Russian River Valley is to the south of Dry Creek Valley (although there is small little pie-like piece of the Russian River wedged between the Alexander Valley to the east and the Dry Creek Valley to the west). The region is known for its Goldridge sandy loam soil; it's here that grapes that prefer a cooler cli- mate—Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir— are grown for Ferrai-Carano. This is also where Ferrari-Carano's single-vineyard Chardonnays are sourced. Napa Carneros Last but not least, the southern- most of the Ferrari-Carano properties is located within the Los Carneros AVA. Here the cool sea breeze funnels filters through the Petaluma Gap and helps to temper a longer growing season—perfect for Ferrari-Carano's Reserve Chardonnay grapes. For Don Carano, it's their vine- yards. For Steve Domenichelli, it's their sustainable farming methods. But to what does the matriarch of Ferrari-Carano attribute their longevity and success? Rhonda Carano says, "When Don and I began our journey in the wine business we had no idea what it would become. [Thirty-five years later] our passion for making wine still drives Ferrari- Carano to what it is today. We've always surrounded ourselves with people who had that same passion and commitment in making wine that can be enjoyed ourselves with others. Don has an innate business sense, and as an Italian, owning land is important to him. My marketing sense led to the physical beauty of the winery and the gardens. I truly believe that one needs passion to create and be successful." All prices are suggested retail. Ferrari-Carano 2013 Merlot, Sonoma County ($21) Blueberry jam, plum, Asian spice, crushed rock and mocha served in a medium-bodied velvety texture. —Jessie Birschbach (JABS) Ferrari-Carano 2013 Chardonnay Reserve, Carneros, Napa Valley ($38) Yellow apple, ripe pineapple, poached pear, butterscotch, and nutmeg in a creamy, luxurious package. Rich yet still well- balanced with acid. —JABS Ferrari-Carano 2012 Trésor Red Wine, Sonoma County ($60) Full in body, round and even a bit chewy in texture. Ripe blackber- ries, blueberries, cranberry sauce and a chocolate-vanilla swirl finishes beautifully with graphite. —JABS The Trésor Sonoma County Red Wine and Reserve Chardonnay are staples of the Ferrari-Carano portfolio. Fourth-generation farmer Steve Domenichelli, Ferrari- Carano's Director of Vineyard Operations. Tasting Notes Blueberry

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