2016 FERRARI-CARANO Dry Sangiovese Rosé Sonoma County 13.8
A nice color of pale amber garnet–not exactly onion-skin, but a rosy close. Hi-voltage nose telling of a bit more alcohol than I am accustomed to in a rosé, round and steely, with pretty floral notes and a ripeness of fruit to accompany the full-roundness of the nose. Pretty peach and nectarine fruit, a bit of heat, the texture of fruit of a different profile most are accustomed to. Sangiovese comes off quite nicely in this presentation. Serve extremely chilled with spicy or salty nosh and while it will never be mistaken for Provence or finer New-World Grenache offerings, it will make an interesting accent.
2016 FERRARI-CARANO Pinot Grigio Russian River Valley Sonoma Co. 13.7
Pale sophisticated yellow with a slight pinkish hue. Heady earth with a bit of funk, nothing out of place, a dry chalky atmosphere bordered with deep oak and roasted vegetables over a nutty pear. Bright and clean in the mouth, a lingering sweetness compliments more full ripe pear and grassy notes. Finish runs into an elegant roundness, light and well-balanced as drying tannins take hold to finish the vibrant acid. A well-made Pinot Grigio with nary a fault.
2014 FERRARI-CARANO ‘Siena’ Red Wine Sonoma County 14.5
Pure perfect ruby and slightly staining. Bright, sunny nose, reasonably concocted as wines of this price-point will surely be. Good chunk of oak, and unsophisticated fruit headed distinctly in a cloying direction–with very little else. I was anxious to sample this wine, as it has been a super-market STAPLE for 30 years, and I probably have not had it for at least the past 15. I don’t drink a lot of California wines at this level of corporate-production and price, but am always eager to find red wines to recommend to people drinking at this price level. In the mouth, clean, cloying mono-directional fruit which screams of basic Sangiovese and a good chunk of Petite Sirah. I don’t remember what the exact blend on this is, but recall it being Super-Tuscan in theory, but with several non-classic additions. A nice funk is its saving grace–perhaps attributable to another blending addition–maybe Malbec or Mourvedre? Sweet and smoooooooth, lacking any serious sophistication or aplomb. Powdery tannins dominate the finish in a way I would consider unbalanced, but the daily-drinker of wines at this price-point will consider par-for-the-course. A simplistic, quaffable red blend which guarantees enjoyment far and wide. If you have 10-15 bucks to spend on a red wine, you can do FAR worse. Serve at somewhat cooler than room temperature, let it breathe a bit, and have plenty of hearty fare, heavily seasoned BBQ and blander side-dishes.