The Ferrari-Carano Siena 2014 is blend of mainly Sangiovese along with smaller portions of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Sirah sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Alexander Valley AVA, the Dry Creek AVA, and the Russian River AVA all inside the Sonoma County AVA in Northern California. The Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery have been family owned since 1985, the Ferrari in the name is in honor of a beloved grandmother. This is a wine that lists for around $20, but is often found at a discount, in the Chicago area it can often sells for about $15 which a great bargain for a family owned Estate wine. This blend was aged in French and European oak barrels (21% new, the rest used) for 14 months in the Ferrari-Carano caves. French and European oak are the same species of oak and have similar characteristics, American oak is a different species and brings a very different flavor profile to wine. The alcohol content is a ripe 14.5%.

The color is an opaque raspberry red with black highlights. The nose is nicely complicated, black cherry, clove, brown sugar, spearmint gum, plum, vanilla, pepper, and extracted blackberry. This is a full-bodied, complex blend, but also smooth and approachable. It starts with blackberry, tobacco, chocolate brownie, tart cranberry, and a dash of black pepper. The mid-palate brings plum and French vanilla, a bit of spice, and black licorice. The tannins are balanced by the body of the wine. The acidity is also well-balanced, this is an excellent wine to go with the meal, but very much in balance when used as a sipping wine. For all its complexity and balance, the finish is a bit short, go figure.

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The Ferrari-Carano Siena 2014 is an upscale wine without an upscale price. It tastes great, it’s a delicious wine and has the depth and complexity only 14 months of barrel aging can provide. Modern winemakers do an excellent job of giving value priced Red wine satisfying oak barrel flavors, but there are no shortcuts for the depth and texture time in the barrel brings to a wine. Many of the wines featured on CWF are brand wine, labels owned by large corporations. It’s ok, they make a lot of very good wines at very good prices. But there is something about a wine from a family owned winery with grapes sourced from estate vineyards and a bottle of wine with the actual family name on the label. The bottle says these are grapes from my land making a bottle of wine in the way I believe wine should be made, please enjoy.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.