Ferrari-Carano – 2007 Petit Verdot

April 16, 2009

The Facts:

Ferrari-Carano is perhaps best known for their Sonoma County Fumé Blanc which is a staple of restaurant wine lists, all over. But that wine, well known as it is only tells a small piece of the impressive Ferrari-Carano offerings. From well known blends, and county designate wines, to single vineyard offerings, Ferrari-Carano has wines with a wide array of intents and purposes. In the short term we’re going to look at three of their more limited offerings. Also look for us to cover other wines from Ferrari-Carano on a go forward basis.

The 2007 Ferrari-Carano Petit Verdot is made from hand harvested fruit. This offering is all Dry Creek fruit and 100% Petit Verdot. This wine was aged in a combination of (35%) new French oak and (65%) older French and Hungarian oak barrels. A mere 462 cases of this selection were produced and it sells directly through the winery for $38.

Gabe’s Take:

It’s rare that a standalone Petit Verdot comes across my desk. Most often this varietal is used in Bordeaux style blends. So the relative scarcity of it, made me anticipate tasting this wine quite a bit. Dark fruit, mainly plum and blueberry dominate the nose. Hints of vanilla are present but they don’t really make a forceful presence until later. The palate is a veritable explosion of continued black fruit, underpinned by solid spice components. Both black and white pepper are prominent on the palate. The finish shows some toasty oak notes, emerging earth, continued spice, a bit of pleasing, lip puckering tartness, hints of bacon fat, and more prominent vanilla. This Petit Verdot has a tannic structure that is both firm and elegant. Terrific acidity frames everything and keeps this wine in perfect balance.

What I like most about this wine is how well it combines rich, mouth-filling fruit and elegance. It’s big, but it’s restrained. It’s elegant but it’s also a little bit boisterous. Decanting this wine for about an hour is my recommendation. If you have the patience to lay this offering down for a few years I suspect short term aging (3-5 years) will only serve to enhance the already enticing earthy qualities. This is a wine worth making an extra effort to acquire.

Dave’s Take:

There is absolutely nothing petite about this Petit Verdot. As Gabe said, the scarcity of this as a 100% varietal had me excited to try it from the onset. I wasn’t disappointed. I liken this wine to a fat lady on a high wire – big, beautiful, and balanced.

The dark fruit, earth and toasted oak are again in my sweet spot. This definitely should age for best results, but I loved it now. I won’t bore you by restating what Gabe had to say, our notes were essentially the same, instead I’d like to ponder a couple of questions. First, why don’t wineries make more of this as a single varietal? Also, bacon fat?????? I know this is in here, as well as with many other wines, but where does it come from???? I like meat with my wine, but please. There must be a secret that is being held tight to the chest. All I can do is warn all pigs to stay as far from Dry Creek as possible.  Oh…and one more warning…this single varietal Petit Verdot will probably not be available forever, find it while you can, this one you won’t regret.

Please vote for Drink Dry Creek!

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