Wild Card From The Cellar – 1992 Ferrari-Carano Tresor

19 year old bottle of Sonoma Cabernet from Ferrari Carano Vineyards

1992 Ferrari-Carano Reserve Tresor Cabernet Sauvignon

1992 Ferrari-Carano Reserve Tresor surprises me for a19 year-old Sonoma Cab


1992 Ferrari-Carano Tresor Reserve CorkThis bottle has been kicking around my cellar for more than ten years. I must admit, I wasn’t excited about opening this wine. But as the adage goes, it’s not going to get any younger, so with apprehension and low expectations I pulled the cork on this nearly 20 year old Sonoma cabernet from Ferrari – Carano Vineyards.

When I think of Ferrari-Carano, I usually think of the over oaked Chardonnay that for a time was a popular wine by the glass in many restaurants. The Tresor, a bordeaux style wine that blends all five of the bordeaux varietals, is a very limited production reserve wine. Perhaps I thought of opening it because I actually saw a current release on the top shelf in the Von’s grocery wine section in nearby Carlsbad. It was selling for about $80, though currently Von’s is selling its entire wine inventory at 30% off. Buy six bottles or more and they’ll knock another 10 percent. So the Ferrari-Carano Tresor was selling for about $60.

But a 1992? I did a quick scan through CellarTracker. Nobody has one in their cellar. There were no tasting notes, at all. Then I went over to WineSearcher. Same thing. None for sale. Perhaps my 1992 Ferrari-Carano Tresor Reserve was the only remaining bottles, save the wineries library.

I pulled the cork.

Storage is everything when it comes to drinking older wines. And by the look of the cork, this bottle was stored impeccably. In the glass it barely showed signs of age. A little tinge of browning on the edge, but mostly a rich opaque ruby red color. And on the nose? Showing dried cherry, slightly earthy with some straw and hints of cedar, mushroom and coffee grounds. On the palate this wine showed amazing balance with ripe plum, olive and dried cherry and pomegranate. It’s only flaw, and this would be for a new bottle, was a slight drying on the finish. But the finish lasted for a good 30+ seconds. Wow. This wine was made at a time that California and new world winemakers were NOT pushing extraction, alcohol and ripeness. This tasted like bordeaux with a California pedigree. The odd bottle that had been pushed around for months—years—in my cellar surprised and amazed me. Too bad there’s not another bottle—anywhere. Good job Ferrari-Carano, you do know how to make good—great—wine.

1992 Ferrari-Carano Reserve Tresor – 93 points (tasted 3/19/11)