Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Ferrari Sparkling and Spring Valley Uriah with Valentine's Day Filet of Beef Surf & Turf Dinner

Ferrari Sparkling and Spring Valley Uriah with Valentine's Day Filet of Beef Surf & Turf Dinner

For a quiet intimate relaxing Valentine’s dinner, Linda prepared surf & turf, Filet of Beef and Lobster Tails in ramekins of buttered bread crumbs with braised roasted potatoes. 

We opened a Ferrari Rose Champagne style sparkling wine for the chopped salad starter and lobster tail course, followed by one of our favorite Right Bank Bordeaux varietal red blends. 

Ferrari Rose Champagne NV

While seen on the winner's podium as the official toast of Formula 1® races, Ferrari Trento bears no relation to the car manufacturer, but plays up on the name, and provides the celebratory bubbly sprayed by and upon the auto racing victors.

Giulio Ferrari, a Trentino native, started his venerable sparkling wine house in 1902, after studying winemaking in France. Convinced that his native region’s terroir was ideal for growing Chardonnay, he produced three of his now best-known cuvées – Ferrari Brut, Perlé and Giulio Ferrari – as blanc de blancs. 

Ferrari wines consistently receive some of Italy’s top accolades, including being awarded Tre Bicchieri 22 years in a row.

With its mountain viticulture (the Dolomites), Trentino is an area well-suited to the production of sparkling wines of great elegance and complexity. Ferrari represents the largest estate in the Trentino region with 300 acres of vineyards. 

In 1952, Giulio Ferrari, having no children of his own, chose friend and local merchant Bruno Lunelli as successor for his business. Today, the third generation of the Lunelli family, with Bruno Lunelli's sons, Franco, Gino and Mauro. They have established Ferrari as the market leader in Italy and the nation’s celebratory wine par excellence with chief winemaker Marcello Lunelli. 

This Ferrari Rose is a premium blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes vinified as a rosé

Winemaker Notes:
Ferrari Brut Rose is salmon pink in color. The bouquet is distinct and very refined, with the fresh fragrance of hawthorne flowers, red currants and wild strawberries. The taste is Dry, clean and elegant, with a delicate finish of sweet almonds.
This was rated 92 points by 91 points by Wine Enthusiast, and 90 points by Tasting Panel, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator. 
Pale salmon color; smooth balanced with bright acidity, delicate rosé red berry flavors bright raspberry, hints of pomegranate, blood orange and a hint of hazelnut and toasted almond. 
RM 90 points. 
Spring Valley Vineyards Uriah Red Blend 2014

For the main course of filet of beef we opened this Right Bank Bordeaux varietal blend from one of our favorite producers. We've written often in these pages about Spring Valley Vineyards in Walla Walla Washington and their portfolio of wines named for members of the family. 

We've written a dozen tasting notes about this label, but surprisingly, this is the first one for this 2014 vintage release.

Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah is a Right Bank Bordeaux Blend, meaning it is Merlot based like those from the northeastern or right bank of the Gironde River, (as opposed to. Spring Valley Frederick, their Left Bank Bordeaux Blend in the style of wines from the left bank or from the south west of the river based primarily on the Cabernet Sauvignon grape.) 

I've featured in these pages often about the portfolio of Spring Valley wines with each label featuring a member of three generations of the Corkrum family reaching back to first generation founding producers Uriah and wife Nina Lee.

We tasted and acquired this wines during our visit to the tasting room and vineyards during our Spring Valley Vineyards Tasting and Vineyard Visit as part of our appellation visit to the Walla Walla (Washington) wine region in 2018. 

During our visit to the area, we drove out northeast of town to see the Spring Valley Vineyards. 

There we had the privilege of meeting Dean Derby, husband of Sharilee Corkrum Derby, who is daughter of Frederick and grand-daughter of Uriah Corkrum who is featured on this label. 

Tonight, with dinner,  Linda also served a chopped salad, a selection of artisan cheeses and medley of Greek olives. The black Greek olives were an amazing pairing with this wines.

Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah Walla Walla Valley Red Wine 2014

We've been collecting this label for two decades and typically hold close to a decade of vintages in our cellar. When the 2010 vintage received a Top 100 #27 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 ranking for the year, it suddenly disappeared from merchant stocks.
We acquire it regularly as part of our wine club shipments allocation.

Tonight, this 2014 vintage is the oldest release we hold in our cellar of this wine so we pulled it as part of cellar management, drinking the oldest vintage as we cycle through the half dozen vintage releases in our cellar, replacing the oldest with the newest.

Being a blend of five Bordeaux varietals, this was more complex than the 'simpler' Frederick with only three. I often compare the profile of blended wines to their width and depth - imagine a bar chart with five bars vs one with three.

This 2014 release of Uriah is a blend of 56% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec

This release was awarded 93 points by Wine Spectator and James Suckling, 91 points by Wine Enthusiast, and 90 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

Winemaker's notes - "Winemaker Notes A blend focused on elegance and finesse. Herbal nose with hints of cassis and cherry. Lightly spiced, the texture is rich with velvety tannins and an ultra-long finish."

Interesting that back on release, Wine Spectator wrote to "Drink now through 2023". At ten years of age, I would say this was at the apex of its drinking profile, not likely to improve with further aging,

Dark ruby colored, medium full bodied, concentrated,  complex, a bit tightly wound but balanced, dark berry, cherry and plum fruits with notes of herbs, black tea, dark mocha chocolate with hints of creosote with nicely textured and integrated acidity. 

RM 92 points.

Some other Uriah reviews going back a dozen years ...