The 2011 Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay from Sonoma County has superior
lots of wine from our vineyards in Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley,
Carneros and Dry Creek Valley. This full-bodied Chardonnay boasts aromas
of baked apple, marshmallow, pear, citrus and a hint of graham cracker,
perfectly balanced by flavors of Fuji apple, lemon, vanilla and lingering,
creamy toasted oak notes.
The growing season got off to a late start with an unusually wet and cool
spring. A late-season rain in early June when many of the vines were in
bloom and pollinating 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 ideal maturity,
great depth and higher concentration of flavors. The grapes for the Chardonnay
were harvested from mid-September to mid-October.
Over 60 individual Chardonnay lots are either whole-cluster pressed or
gently destemmed, crushed, pressed, then cold settled for two days in stainless
steel tanks before moving to barrels for fermentation. Aged separately in
French oak, the wine completes 90 percent malolactic fermentation, then is
sur lie aged and stirred every two weeks until blending.
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.