Tasting with Ferrari-Carano, 2017 Releases

It’s been two years since we hung out with Sonoma’s Ferrari-Carano, but recently the winery invited us to sample its latest releases, a quartet of wines spanning a wide range of styles in production here. Led via a live, online tasting by Associate Winemaker Rebecka Deike (the red wine specialist here), we started with chardonnay and finished with a fun little dessert wine — all poured in honor of the recently departed Don Carano.

Let’s check them out!

2015 Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay Sonoma County – Fairly standard Sonoma chardonnay, chewy and on the burly side, all rather typical of Ferrari-Carano’s house style. (This is the entry level bottling.) Some almond notes make for an interesting counterpart to the buttery apple pie character that dominates. B / $23

2014 Ferrari-Carano Anderson Valley Pinot Noir – Restrained but perfectly drinkable, this is a plum-heavy pinot with notes of cola (an F-C standard) with some meatiness in the mix. It’s slightly sweet on the palate, but the finish is dry enough to be approachable, its notes of graphite and some licorice providing nuance. B / $38

2013 Ferrari-Carano Tresor – This is a classic Bordeaux blend made from 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc — nearly the same blend as our 2015 tasting. Lush and decadent, it’s loaded up with currants, chocolate, and a wisp of tobacco notes that meld together into a soothing and seductive whole. This is Ferrari-Carano’s most opulent wine, and this vintage is already firing on all cylinders, the silky chocolate making for a lovely finish. A- / $55

2015 Ferrari-Carano Eldorado Noir Russian River Valley – A 100% black muscat dessert wine. Sweet with notes of Christmas spice and tons of menthol atop a blueberry and blackberry core. It’s gooey but not overwhelmingly sugary, which makes it surprisingly approachable even at cocktail hour instead of with a big hunk of chocolate. I find myself gravitating heavily to its cocoa-covered-blueberry palate. A- / $30 (375ml)

ferrari-carano.com

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