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Ferrari • Carano Tre Terre Chardonnay with Sea Bass
Usually when Sarah Quider, white wine winemaker for Ferrari-Carano Winery is thinking "blend" she has at hand special barrels of several wine varietals that she has selected for the elements they offer which, in combination make an exceptional wine. For the 2005 Tre Terre Russian River Valley Chardonnay Sarah had the joy of working with fruit selected from six different vineyard sites, with 11 Chardonnay clones. Each lot is aged, sur lie, separately in French oak barrels utilizing 19 different French oak cooperages. The wines are stirred every two weeks for 15 months until bottling with the result that the wine has great complexity, good acidity and a rich finish.
These qualities make the Tre Terre Chardonnay a great complement to a wide range of foods, including one very satisfying pairing. Rhonda is particularly pleased with the harmony between the wine, the fennel - with its unusual and distinctive hint of licorice, the gentle acidity of the lemon butter and the fresh ocean flavor of the Sea Bass. The unique delicacy of the fish with the roasted fennel and lemon/butter sauce are perfectly enhanced by the rich, warm toast, a melange of fresh fruit flavors such as apple, pear and coconut along with the orange blossom aroma and delicious spice of the Ferrari-Carano 2005 Russian River Valley Tre Terre Chardonnay. This combination, she feels, is a perfect match that serves beautifully as an ideal transition into the lighter menus of spring.
Ferrari-Carano is located at 8761 Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (707) 433-6700.
Rhonda Carano's Sea Bass
Place lemons on aluminum foil, sprinkle with sugar and 2 tbsp. water. Fold to make a pouch, seal tightly and bake on a cookie sheet for 35-40 minutes, or until lemons are soft, at 375 degrees. Remove and cool to touch. Cut lemons in half and squeeze juice into a saucepan. Stir in stock and bring to a boil, skim and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Add butter, a small piece at a time, whisking constantly. Keep warm.
While lemons are cooling, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in roasting pan. Add fennel, and cook without stirring, until fennel starts to brown. Set pan in oven and roast fennel for 30 minutes, or until tender.
Remove fennel from oven. Arrange fennel on the bottom of each serving plate. Place bass on top of fennel. Ladle 2 ounces of lemon butter around each fish. Garnish with the reserved green fennel tops, thyme and serve immediately.
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