Friday, October 9, 2015

Ferrari-Carano Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

Mendocino County's Anderson Valley has become a good spot for great value in Pinot Noir. The cooler-climate region is making a name for itself as a Pinot Paradise, with the quality we might expect from a pricier neighborhood and a price tag that's a little easier on the debit card.

The 2013 Ferrari-Carano Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes that were harvested from their three ranches in Anderson Valley. According to the Ferrari website, the grapes are "cold soaked for three days and fermented in small bins and stainless steel open-top fermentors. Various yeast strains are introduced to add complexity. Fermentors are punched down one to three times per day. Wines are pressed when dry and then moved to barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. The wine aged for 10 months in new and neutral French oak barrels before bottling." Thirty-seven percent of the barrel oak was new.

Some much-needed rain in late 2012 brought the 2013 heritage and Dijon clone grapes through another drought cycle into a near-perfect growing season. Ripening occurred on the early side and they were blessed with a big crop, despite the dry season. The wine's alcohol hits 14.4% abv and it sells for $30.

This Pinot shows medium-dark color and gives an aromatic nose that telegraphs its complexity. Raspberry, black cherry and plum blend together beautifully with earthy notes and a light touch of oak spice. On the palate, the fruit is as big as Mendocino County, and just as pretty. A light, earthy touch gives a hint of savory and that bit of oak tops it all off. Stout tannins, too, for a Pinot Noir.

The winery says you can pair this wine with salmon, fowl, beef or lamb, with excellent results.

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