The Ferrari-Carano Pinot Grigio 2016 is sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Russian River Valley AVA inside the Sonoma County AVA of northern California. The Russian River Valley AVA follows the Russian River as it turns to the west towards the Pacific Ocean but stops before the coastal region. Ferrari-Carano has produced wine since 1985, their winery is located in the Dry Creek Valley AVA and if you are interested in visiting Sonoma wineries, this winery should be high up on your list. This Pinot Grigio is a young wine, the grapes were harvested in the fall and by January 2017 the wine was bottled and by February the wine is released. So this should be a fruit forward, bright, lively wine. It was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, while “on lees” (the dead yeast is kept with the wine in the tanks, it adds flavor, texture, and structure and when stirred can give a creamy flavor). The alcohol content is 13.7%.
The color is a very pale lemon yellow, almost clear. The nose is lemon, lime, and grapefruit, along with Golden Delicious apple and peach, with a light floral background. This is a dry, crisp Pinot Grigio, with good, solid body and balanced acidity. It starts with a mix of melon, lime, and grapefruit, apricot, and lemon. The mid-palate shows orange zest, a touch of spice and kiwi. Some popular Pinot Grigios are acid bombs, but not here. The Ferrari-Carano has enough acidity to allow the flavors time to unfold and to pair well with light summer dishes, but it does not bite. The finish is full and fairly lengthy.
If you are someone who reads CheapWineFinder you probably drink Pinot Grigio that has California on the label for the place of origin. And while there are many pretty good value priced Pinot Grigio/Gris on store shelves, going up a few dollars can find wines from well-respected, fancy AVA’s. The Ferrari-Carano Pinot Grigio 2016 sells for a couple of dollars on either side of $14 on the internet and that is very reasonable. Usually when you buy a wine that is the “next step up”, you may have to pay double the price of the value bottle, but with this Pinot Grigio, you get next level wine for only a few additional bucks. The Ferrari-Carano Pinot Grigio 2016 is a delicious, nicely complex wine with more balanced acidity than you find with many Pinot Grigios. It still has enough acidity to get the job done as a food wine, but it is a very pleasurable sipping experience.