This Week’s Wine Tasting

American Wine- California and Washington State



Ferrari Carano Chardonnay 2012
Sonoma County, California. 30% new French oak, 70% older French oak. “The Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay has superior lots of wine from our vineyards in Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Carneros. This full-bodied Chardonnay boasts aromas of apple, citrus, pear and marshmallow perfectly balanced by flavors of quince, peach, lemon and hazelnut with lingering, creamy toasted oak notes.

Overall, 2012 was a very good year with ideal weather conditions for the vines. Spring produced great set and average rainfall led to normal and above-normal yields. Consistently warm temperatures during the summer months without any heat spikes or major rain events allowed for longer “hang time” leading to fully ripe flavors.

This versatile, full-bodied Chardonnay pairs perfectly with seafood, poultry, white meats and dishes with cream sauces. Try preparations that include citrus, butter, cream, cheese, bacon, nutmeg, thyme, basil or toasted nuts.”



Sterling Napa County Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Napa County, California. A blend of 95.3% Sauvignon Blanc, 2.9% Pinot Gris, 2% other. Aged in 5% French oak. “The Napa County Sauvignon Blanc primes the palate with bright grapefruit, lemon blossom and pineapple aromas. The 2013 vintage was slightly warmer, yielding a smooth, viscous palate with rich citrus, lemon oil, golden apples, guava and hints of passion fruit. A lively acidity lifts the finish with a clean minerality and vibrant citrus notes. This graceful and balanced Sauvignon Blanc will pair well with fleshy seafood, such as seared scallops or swordfish.

Our Sauvignon Blanc arrived at the winery with vibrant, rich flavors. To harness that, we pressed the grapes whole cluster, gently extracting the highest quality juice for better flavors and mouthfeel. A majority of the fruit was fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel. To build a lovely viscous texture and balance, we barrel fermented five percent of the wine in neutral barrels and stirred the lees in both tank and barrel.”



Sterling Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Napa Valley, California. Aged for 12 to 14 months in 46% French oak, 38% American oak and 16 % European oak. “Smooth and elegant, the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon delivers the reputed charm of its pedigree. Intense aromas, led by toasty oak and spice, unfold with layers of cardamom, cedar, dark chocolate and anise over briary fruit. Velvety, plush and round, the palate delivers style and sophistication with enjoyable, rewarding accessibility. Layers of red fruit, brown sugar, and black licorice are joined by chocolaty tannins that melt into a long finish. The cooler vintage left a lift of acid that makes it perfect for pairing with food. Try with a hearty mushroom tart, roasted pork loin or grilled meat.

“My time in Europe helped me make this wine,” explains Winemaker Alison Crary. “I was able to coax forward a rich, expressive character from grapes grown in a cool and challenging vintage.” To begin, we harvested later than normal, allowing the fruit to develop and mature on the vine. We then fermented the grapes at fairly high temperatures for approximately 12 days, which helped soften the tannins and pull forward the dark fruit. To age the wine, we selected oak barrels that provided a nice complement to this vintage, lending warm, toasty-sweet almond-pastry notes.”



Bogle Vineyards Phantom 2011
Clarksburg, Lodi and Amador, California. Aged 24 months in American oak. A blend of 51% Zinfandel, 47% Petite Sirah and 2% Mourvedre. “The wait is over…Phantom has reappeared for the season! Bogle’s desirable apparition of rich berry and relentless spice returns to haunt wine lovers. Three expressive varietals converge and create a mysterious wine full of flavor, concentration and intensity.

This ruby red spectra entices with rich blackberry and briary boysenberry. Provocative dark fruits envelop the nose and palate, leaving the essence of flavors brought forth by the grapes during winemaking. Black cherry and anise abound, leading to a sturdy finish of black pepper, pipe tobacco and spicy oak. Aged for over two years in 1 and 2 year old American oak focus and intensify the Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Mourvèdre.”



Canoe Ridge Vineyard Reserve Merlot 2010
Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington. Canoe Ridge Vineyard. A blend of 88% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec. “A well-structured, fruit-driven style, with ambitious toasty fig combined with layered blackberry, black currant, and plum notes. The long finish flashes a soft hint of vanilla oak notes.”



Waterbrook Syrah 2011
Columbia Valley, Washington. Canyon Ranch, Willard, Benches, Blackrock Vineyards. A blend of 92% Syrah, 4% Carmenere, 4% Viognier. Barrel aged 22 months. “Fruity aromas of blueberries, sweet cherries, and vanilla lead to flavors of mulberries, fig and tobacco, finishing with long silky tannins and earth hints of leather and toasted nuts.”


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