Wine Review: Ferrari-Carano Bella Luce Sonoma 2012 and Barons Petit Barone Columbia Valley 2010

“Work Wine”

Everyone knows that after a hard day of physical labor, a cold beer is the elixir of life that restores and renews. But moving a household involves additional emotional baggage weighing on already tired muscles. In such situations, when the soul aches along with the body, something even more magical is called for—that would be wine of course.

Is “work wine” a wine category? Perhaps it should be.

Here are two wines that qualify.

Ferrari-Carano’s Bella Luce white wine blend is a melange of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscat Canelli. But it all works. Lemon, mango, white flowers and spicy ginger all compete for your attention. Good weight on the palate, slightly viscous but with bracing acidity, this  wine is both interesting and refreshing.  89 Points.

The elixir of life had better be spicy. The Petit Barone, a blend of Merlot (71%), Cabernet (24%), and a little Petite Verdot, has spiciness in spades, the product of 24 months in French and American oak. Very dark fruit and baked earth anchor the pepper and clove notes. A medium-bodied wine with a soft mid-palette until the grippy tannins kick in, the pronounced acidity gives this wine a vaguely Italian spirit. An unusual approach for a Bordeaux blend. 88 points.

The common denominator—spice and acidity. Move over pale ale, make room for work wines.

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