Gold medal! Silver medal! Sometimes Merlot gets a bad wrap, but not in this case. This is a superb Merlot that’s drinking beautifully now. The bad wrap part? Blame it on Sideways, we do.
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4+ Stars, Restaurant Wine
Ronn Wiegand, 01/01/2018
90, California Grapevine
89, Wine Spectator
SILVER, Toast of the Coast
Aromas & Flavors
Select lots of grapes are chosen from our vineyards in Sonoma County to create this beautifully-balanced and medium-bodied Merlot. This is a velvety wine with a complex nose of plum, chocolate spice, dark berries, coffee, caramel and cedar. A fleshy mouthfeel is followed by flavors of bright, upfront, red fruit, a structured mid-palate and a firm backbone of ripe tannins. This wine has impressive length and a lasting, elegant finish.
The fruit forward, easy drinking qualities of our Merlot make it the perfect wine to pair with any red meat course, Italian entrées, and roasted or grilled fragrantly-spiced poultry dishes.
How It's Made
The cool climate, valley-floor vineyards produce supple, fruit-forward wine, while the mountaintop vineyard fruit lends intensity and structure. Upon entering the winery, the hand-harvested grapes are destemmed and cold soaked for three days. Following the cold soak, yeast is added and pump-overs commence, one to two times daily, for the duration of primary fermentation. The wine is drained and pressed, then moved to barrels for malolactic fermentation, blended early for integration of fruit and racked only once to maintain the wine’s fresh and vibrant qualities. The wine completes a total of 16 months barrel aging, allowing for the perfect balance of fruit, tannin and oak.
The Merlot vines are farmed on diverse, low-vigor vineyard sites ranging from valley floor sandy loam and gravel to steep, sloped, volcanic rock hillsides. 2014 gave us another great crop of grapes, despite a second year of farming under drought conditions. The growing season began with an early bud break, after a dry winter. A warm and dry spring was followed by a consistently warm summer leading to elevated temperatures toward the end of August prompting an earlier harvest than the past year. These favorable conditions resulted in wines featuring good color and tannin structure along with concentrated flavors.
Minted Lamb Tartlets
Minted ground lamb makes the filling for these delicious tartlets. Made with fresh pastry dough these tartlets can be used as a main course or a unique appetizer. Serve with Ferrari-Carano Merlot.
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Dried Cherry Sauce
Our recipe for rack of lamb crusted with parsley, thyme, rosemary and lavendar and topped with a tart dried cherry sauce is the perfect match to serve with any of Ferrari-Carano's delicious Pinot Noirs. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead.
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