Last week I got the chance to do a virtual tasting (my second favorite kind of tasting after at the winery tastings) with Rebecka Deike, winemaker for Ferrari-Carano, as we tasted through some wines that should be welcome at any table during the holiday season.
2015 Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay
Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Region: Sonoma County, CA
Cost: $23 (SRP)
We started off the tasting with a chardonnay. Golden in color, I picked up aromas of orange blossom with flavors of lemon and a vanilla finish balanced by a touch of acid. The wine was oaked in 23% new French oak and 77% older French oak, and it definitely showed – the wine had a creamy quality that coated the mouth. Oaked chardonnay is never an easy sell in our house, and but it wasn’t too oaked, which was nice. That being said, if you’re sensitive to oak, or you’re looking for more acid, this probably isn’t going to be the wine for you.
2014 Ferrari-Carano Pinot Noir
Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Region: Anderson Valley, CA
Cost: $38 (SRP)
Jumping into the reds, we tried the 2014 Pinot Noir. Light reddish-purple in color, I picked up aromas of red fruit and flavors of plum and cherry. A bit hot on the nose at first (14.5% alc/vol), it’s definitely worth giving the wine time to open, but when you do it shows a nice dry finish and a light body that makes it nice and versatile – perfect for those holiday dinners.
2013 Ferrari-Carano Tresor
Variety: 71% Cabernet Sauvignon; 10% Malbec; 9% Petit Verdot; 5% Merlot; 5% Cabernet Franc
Region: Sonoma County, CA
Cost: $55 (SRP)
Man was this a big wine. On the nose the wine was jammy, with notes of cassis and anise which gave way to flavors dark fruits like cherry and blackberry. This is definitely a wine that needs to open (like I said, it’s big, and the 14.5% alc/vol doesn’t hurt), but once it does, it balances a smooth front palate with a roundness on the backend that coats the mouth and begs for something juicy to pair it with – ribs, steak, stews. This was our favorite wine of the night, and it’s well worth the cost.
2015 Ferrari-Carano Eldorado Noir
Variety: Black Muscat
Region: Russian River Valley, CA
Cost: $30 (SRP)
We finished up with a dessert wine. I’ll admit that I don’t normally indulge in dessert wines – I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and I’d rather go with another glass of wine or something savory than sweet. That being said, this is the time of year to break out those bottles of dessert wine you’ve collected over the year. The Eldorado Noir was a dessert wine from first sniff, with a juicy sweet nose with a hint of floral notes. In the mouth the wine showed sweet berry flavors with a finish of orange blossoms that really showed on the exhale. You could pair this with more tart desserts, but I really wanted to reduce some of it into a sauce and pour it over some pound cake or ice cream; may not be the best use of $30, but that’s just me.
This was a great tasting, and if you want to see what the other participants thought, you can check out the Twitter feed at #FCHolidayWine . Thanks to Rebecka Deike and our host Chelsea Kurnick from McCue Communications.