The Ferraris Estate produces about 130,000 bottles of wine (about 50,000 of Ruchè) from 18 vineyards covering 25 hectares. Luca Ferraris Agricola is the largest family owned agricultural company in the seven municipalities of the Ruchè-growing region.
Date Founded: 1999
To understand how the Luca Ferraris winery came about we must trace the story back to the nineteenth century when Luca’s great-grandfather Luigi Ferraris emigrated to America during the gold rush. Striking gold, he sent the money back to his wife Bruno Teresa, giving her the chance to realize her dream. After her husband passed away in 1921, she bought the house in Via al Castello that until recently housed Luca’s winery. Two years later, Luca’s grandfather Martino purchased II Casot, at the time nothing more than a simple rural hut in the middle of 40,000 square meters of land. Martino planted vines and bought barrels to make wine with his own grapes in his own cellar. He started by selling his wine to wholesalers in the area, then later began to increase his business by selling larger bottles to individuals traveling back and forth to Turin every week on horseback. Today on that land we have one of our most representative vineyards: Vigna del Casot.
Following the footsteps of Luca’s grandfather Martino, it was up to his father to decide what to do with the family’s passion for wine. In the time of the great industrialization by Fiat in Turin, he moved to the city as his peers did, but he also decided to keep his passion for the vineyards alive by collecting and giving its grapes to the agricultural cooperative in the village. That continued every year until 1999, when after graduation as an agriculturist, Luca began working at the family business, restoring the old cellar and starting to make wine from the vineyards. It was the turning point for the operation, and perhaps even for the Ruchè variety. In the area of the seven municipalities producing Ruchè, Luca was the first to thin vineyards to improve their quality. He wanted the company to specialize exclusively in high-quality production and also began to travel the world looking for new customers and markets. Production was raised from 10,000 bottles in the 2000 vintage to 60,000 in 2003 thanks to a partnership with Randall Grahm, the Californian winemaker founder of already famous for his Bonny Doon Vineyard. Today the Ferraris estate produces about 130,000 bottles of wine (about 50,000 of Ruchè) from 18 vineyards covering 25 hectares. Luca Ferraris Agricola is the largest family owned agricultural company in the seven municipalities of the Ruchè-growing region.
The new Luca Ferraris winery was built in 2009. It was finished on August 31, just in time to press its Viognier harvest the following day. The switch to a more modern winery was necessary – despite the global economic climate, the company was growing rapidly, thanks in no small measure to the increasing popularity of Ruchè. The building, 1,000 square meters wide and three stories high, is on the main road between Asti and Castagnole Monferrato. The cellar and storage room are underground, where the temperature and humidity are constant year-round. The ground floor is where all production, from pressing to bottling, takes place. Advanced machinery allows Ferraris to produce the best possible wines without interfering with their natural characteristics. This is possible only through the combination of modern technology and the knowledge of old winemakers. Luca’s family taught him not to pander to a wider but less-educated public by producing wines that betray the typical characteristics of each variety. Also on the ground floor, behind the bottling line, are the company offices where the Luca Ferraris team meets to discuss production and marketing strategies. Above the offices on the first floor is the wine tasting room that seats up to 30 people. Large windows overlook the production area allowing tasters a view across the winery – illustrating the total transparency in Ferraris’ production.
Ruchè Clasic is obtained from grapes coming from the best-exposed vineyards, which means the southwest side of the hills. Because a heavy pruning, these vineyards never produce more then seven tons per hectare. Fermentation is done in 54-hectoliter temperature-controlled French oak vats for 15 to 20 days, according to the quality of the grapes at the time of pressing. A controlled temperature of 23 degrees enables the fermentation time to be lengthened and to keep the must in contact with skins for longer. During this period, the skins give the must more structure, tannin and color. This is important, particularly for Ruchè, whose precise aromas are its main characteristic. Once fermentation is finished, the wine rests for six months in the same vats where malolactic fermentation also takes place, perfect containers because they allow the exchange of oxygen necessary for a quicker maturation of the wine and for developing more elegant scents without imparting too much oak flavor.
Color: Ruby red
Bouquet: The wood is perfect for providing a natural level of oxygenation, without much oak flavor, very intense aromas of flowers
Taste: Also at the palate, intense aromas of flowers, balanced, elegant, with tannins that work hard at being soft
Alcohol: 14 %
Residual Sugar: 1.17 g/l
Total Acidity: 4.74 g/l
Grape Varietal: Ruchè 100%
Production Area: Castagnole Monferrato, Asti District
Soil: Clay and tuff
Growing System: Long Cordon Spur
Yield: 6 tons/ha-260 meters above sea level
Alcoholic Fermentation: In temperature controlled stainless steel rotofermenters for 10-15 days
Malolactic fermentation: In 54 hectoliters oak foudre
Truffles, game, medium aged cheeses, red and white meats, pasta
Dark and chocolate, spiced with pretty notes of allspice and clove, this wine is round and rich, bursting with ripe berries, combined with an earthy complexity and a velvety finish.
Made from 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc
The wine spent 22 months on 75% new French oak with the remaining 25% second vintage French oak. Select barrels from the best forests of Taransaud, Boutes, Quintessance, and Vicard cooperages.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Merlot, this wine seems a little green out of the gate, with aromas of herbs, cocoa, vanilla, black licorice, woodspice and black fruit. The fruit flavors display the warmth of this region, with the tannins providing some heft, stretching out over time. - Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
Tamarack Cellars’ 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Reserve is an outstanding blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc that spent 22 months (each variety is kept separate until 12 months after the harvest) in 50% new and 50% once-used French oak. Classically styled, with lots of smoke tobacco, licorice and blackcurrant aromas and flavors, it has everything in the right place, in the right proportions, and is incredibly enjoyable to drink. Enjoy this medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic, balanced beauty over the coming decade, although it will probably last longer. - Robert Parker Wine Advocate 91 Points
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2016 is made from 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot.
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"The 2016 Pedestal from Michel Rolland checks in as a blend of 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in 85% new French oak. It has a rocking bouquet of smoked black fruits, espresso, chocolate, and tobacco that gives way to a full-bodied, plump, incredibly sexy red that does everything right. It's one serious mouthful of Merlot and should keep for 10-12 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 pts
"The 2016 Pedestal Merlot has a precise nose of dusty plum, red flowers and soft oak tones with an elegant aroma of pencil lead fluttering about. The medium to full-bodied palate is clean and correct, with plush dark red fruit, dusty tannins, purple flowers and soft oak spices of vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg. The wine ends with a long, thoughtful, well-balanced finish that delivers complexity and pleasure simultaneously. Michel Rolland made this beauty of a bottle. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #246, December 2019), 94 pts