Ferrari-Carano has a long-standing reputation for high caliber wines. From their casual, California classic Fumé Blanc to their celebration of their Italian heritage wine Sangiovese, I’ve heard nothing but high praise for the husband-and-wife team who’ve been a wine country staple since 1985. However — believe it or not — I never had the opportunity to visit or taste from Ferrari-Carano until just recently. Rhonda, Don, your reputation is well deserved…

About the Wine: The Ferrari-Carano UNA GSM is made from 41% Grenache, 41% Syrah, 18% Mourvèdre harvested from RockRise Mountain Ranch in the Alexander Valley AVA of Sonoma County.

All grapes were hand picked and destemmed, then cold soaked in stainless steel for three days, after which yeast was added and a twice-daily pump over routine began. After primary fermentation concluded, the wines were then drained off the skins. Secondary, malolactic fermentation took place in French oak barrels. The wine then aged for 10 months. All vineyard lots were kept separate; the final blend was created just before bottling.

14.8% ABV

Flavor Profile: Out of the bottle, the Ferrari-Carano UNA GSM emits strong scents of plump plums, oak barrels, wet wood and a subtle umami. It’s a rich purple-red on the pour, with just the slightest coat of dust. Settling into the glass, the GSM maintains that richness of color with no dust detected — instead there’s a faint baby pink lining the perimeter.

Initial aromas just float float of the glass and are purple, almost candy-like in their essence of cherries, blackberries, and purple grapes. Swirl, and awaken a strong line of acidity, fresh herbs like eucalyptus, a hint of mint, and cardamom. The fruits sing of those darker berries, alive and plump on the bush just before falling to the damp earth amongst wet trees.

The Ferrari-Carano UNA GSM has a soft, plush mouthfeel straight away, as if your tongue is resting gently on a pillow. The acidity is a steady stream throughout; tannins are a solid backbone until gently touching the top of the tongue at the end — delicately but obviously. Primary flavors are of blackberry, tree bark, and dried versions of the herbs mentioned in the aromas. The finish is soft, but solid, with lingering flavors of fresh cut cherry wood.

Food Pairing: I paired the Ferrari-Carano UNA GSM with a pan-grilled salmon next to fettuccine tossed with mushrooms, green pepper, feta, garlic, and a marinara sauce.

Loved this pairing. The richness of the fish and the consistency of the pasta noodles highlighted the full, round body of the wine. They also pulled out some hidden richness to the wine, with scents of cacao and purple flowers. Meanwhile the sauce, as well as the vegetables and herbs, brought forth the acidity in the wine, complimenting the herbaceous notes in the GSM.

More Info: I received the Ferrari-Carano UNA GSM Red Blend as a sample for review. (Cheers!) Price: $39. For more information about Ferrari-Carano and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Ferrari-Carano website.

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