2011 Ferrari-Carano Emelia’s Cuvée ChardonnayRussian River Valley
Named for Don Carano’s paternal grandmother, Emelia Ferrari, the 2011 Emelia’s Cuvée Chardonnay from Russian River Valley is a delicious wine with aromas and flavors of peach, citrus, apricot, marshmallow, fig, vanilla, pear and brown sugar interwoven with layers of floral, citrus, cream and maple. An elegant, smooth, toasty oak finish characterizes this lovely wine.
The growing season got off to a late start with an unusually wet and cool spring. A late-season rain in early June stunted the size of the crop and created uneven growing patterns in many of our vineyards. Summer temperatures were cool overall, averaging in the low to mid-80s, until mid-September when temperatures reached the mid-90s for nearly a week. This led to great depth and higher concentration of flavors. The grapes for the Chardonnay were harvested from mid-September to mid-October.
Two Chardonnay clones comprise this wine, which is hand harvested, whole-cluster pressed, cold settled for 24 hours in stainless steel tanks, and then moved directly to barrels for fermentation using select French oak. Aged separately by lot, this wine completes 95 percent malolactic fermentation and is sur lie aged and stirred weekly until blending in the summer. The wine is then returned to neutral French oak barrels for continued aging and integration until bottled, a total of 15 months of barrel aging.
Emelia’s Cuvée pairs perfectly with seafood and poultry entrees, as well as salads with tropical fruit-based dressings. Light pastas, rice and vegetable dishes also marry well.