Italian Triple Play

IMG_-v018co2016 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.  Sweet is the first thing embracing the mouth.  This thing is sweet.  Pretty peach and nectarine fruit, a bit of heat, and sweet.  I’m sorry if the label says “Dry”, this thing is straight-up sweet.  Sweet long into the finish.  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.


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