Text Size:-+

2000 Ferrari-Carano "Eldorado Noir" Black Muscat, Sonoma

I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of dessert wines. I find the majority of them far too sweet and cloying " small syrup bombs that are the last thing I need after, let alone during, a nicely prepared dessert. However, after the recent discovery of dessert wines made from Jurancon, I'm holding a out a little hope that I may occasionally find one which does what its supposed to " make me enjoy dessert even more. It was with that small hope that I ordered Ferrari-Carano's "Eldorado Noir" Black Muscat the other night after dinner. I had never heard of a Black Muscat and thought, "what the heck."

The winemaker says:

"Here is a truly unique dessert wine, made from black Muscat grapes grown in our Russian River vineyard. As the grapes ripen slowly in the cool, foggy climate, they reach their full flavor maturity much later than other varieties of grapes. Made only in years when weather conditions permit, this delicious wine is intensely aromatic and fresh and clean in its flavors. A surprise dessert wine to delight everyone's palate."

It turns out that there's a good reason (sort of) that I haven't ever heard of Black Muscat, and that's because there really isn't any such thing. A quick journey to the Oxford Companion to Wine reveals that while there are a few varieties of related Muscat grapes, none of them is Black Muscat. However, the oldest and finest of the Muscat varietes, Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains in different strains, produces berries that range from pink to 'black.' The Companion goes on to say, "...the dark berries are not so deeply pigmented that they can produce a proper red wine," which is interesting because the Eldorado is certainly a nice shade of purple.

Tasting Notes:
God would I love to have this wine in a brandy snifter. Even out of the tiny port glass I had, it exploded with strawberry, loganberry, blueberry and chocolate aromas. The dark viscous purple flowed over the tongue with flavors of blueberries, molasses, vanilla and caramel. Best of all, it wasn't too sweet " the flavors tasted natural and expressive, rather than being overly distilled.

Food Pairing
After having this with a dark black chocolate bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce I can hardly think of something better. Give it chocolate, whatever you do.

Overall score: 9

How much?: $25 for a half bottle.

This wine can be purchased on the winery's web site and presumably elsewhere.

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery Marin County Wine Celebration: June 26, Mill Valley Pursuing Balance in California No Longer Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/12/16 I'll Drink to That: Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrrell's Wines, Australia Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 5, 2016 Vinography Images: Vine Viewing Warm Up: Single Vineyard Expressions in Barolo I'll Drink to That: Alex Sanchez of the Brovia Winery

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud