Luigi Ferrando Carema, “Etichetta Bianca” 2018
There is any wine that defines the Ferrando “oeuvre” it is this one: the white label Carema. No single wine in our portfolio is more illustrative of our work than this brilliant rendition of Nebbiolo. Produced exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape planted in a series of vineyards that sit beneath Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) in a broad amphitheatre with full southern exposure overlooking the river, Dora Baltea, that runs from the snow-capped mountains south through the Valle d’Aosta into the northwestern range of Piedmont slicing the city of Ivrea in half. The vines are trained in a special way on pergola (known as “tupin” in local dialect) to obtain maximum exposure to the sun in this high altitude district and are planted to soils that are dominated by slate. The appellation of Carema is extremely small: only 16 hectares (approximately 40 acres) are planted to the vine. The Ferrando family controls 2.5 hectares of the appellation. The Nebbiolo grapes are harvested normally during the second half of October; then, they undergo a cuvaison of approximately two weeks in stainless steel before being racked into a mixture of large and small barrels for an extensive aging period of 30 to 36 months before being bottled (without filtration). By law, the Carema cannot be released before four years of aging. Production of the Carema “Etichetta Bianca” is approximately 7,200 bottles per annum, two-thirds of which (4,800 bottles) comes to the States. A small quantity of magnums is bottled each year at our request as well. The Carema of Ferrando reveals the most elegant and delicate and complex characteristics of the Nebbiolo grape with a surprising capacity to age. We have witnessed this wine at thirty-plus years of age displaying vibrant, seductive qualities that are simply astonishing.