Ferrari-Carano 2003 Sonoma County Siena ($19.99)
This is an inky dark reddish-purple wine, showing glints of ruby against the light. Lovely black-cherry aromas add more subtle hints of fennel or licorice. Ripe and juicy fruit flavors follow the nose, shaped by tart Italian-style acidity and soft tannins in a nicely structured wine. Tart cherries linger and add a touch of dark chocolate in a long finish. Curiously, the proprietary name was rendered "Sienna" for a year or two, as shown in the 2001 label at right; it has now returned to "Siena" as in the historic Tuscan town. US Importer: (Aug 10, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: Like its Tuscan cousins, Siena serves nicely with a rare grilled steak; it also went very well indeed with a hearty, meatless pasta dish of sauteed eggplant, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes over farfalle, topped with grated fresco Asiago and Pecorino Romano cheeses and a basil chiffonade.



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