I’ve only had Ferrari Carano twice in my wine drinking life. No joke. So, even though I love the Chardonnay as a daily drinker, and their GSM proved a beautiful date night addition, I really had no idea how special Ferrari Carano is until a friend insisted we visit while at last year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference. (Cheers Lori!) Well we each did a tasting and the line up was fab. Some of us bought several bottles, some of us just one. And the one bottle we all had in hand when walking out the door? This Ferrari Carano 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
After reviewing the McKahn Family Cellars 2017 Rosé of Grenache, the Livermore-based family winery was kind enough to send me a few samples to review. I was so excited to see this Grenache-based red blend in my package. Having experienced what winemaker Charles McKahn can do in regards to “rosé-ing” the grape, I was definitely eager to experience what a red wine version would be like. And I’ll say straight-away, this bottle far exceeded my expectations in regards to expression of the fruit and just pure winemaking talent.
I’ve been dying to taste Smith-Madrone wines since I don’t know how long. I’ve only heard fantastic things about the estate and their wines. And after interviewing Stu Smith, founder, manager, and enologist for Smith-Madrone Winery, for a recent article, highlighting his thoughts on Napa’s recent Measure C ballot, I was even more eager and curious what this downright passionate proprietor is creating with these lovingly tended-for vineyards. So what better way to start than with the varietal Napa is known for?
I love a good Cabernet Franc — that’s just a fact. And I’ve been so happy to see it grow as a common varietal within the last few years. Read a few of my Cab Franc highlights. When done well, there’s an aged elegance to it — even in its younger years. I love the innate pepperiness of the variety; the touchable, suede-like tannins in the wine varietal; and I love that mouthful — because it is a mouthful — of fruit, earth, and spice all combine into a celebration of this foundational grape.
While I’ve found a few California producers who create extremely refined Grenache, I’m not a huge fan of the Spanish or South American garnacha. There’s something about the focus on rusticity that usually turns me off — harsh without a purpose, it seems. And yet, when you’re in the mood for some spice in your life, there are a few varietals that immediately come to mind. For me, Garnacha is certainly one of them. So when I found this bottle at a local wine shop for under $20, I figured, why not try something different? So…here’s that story.