Alpine Nebbiolo Built to Age: 2011 Ferrando Carema Etichetta Nera

Posted by Joe Salamone

Alpine Nebbiolo Built to Age
2011 Ferrando Carema Etichetta Nera

Last week, we offered Ferrando's Etichetta Bianca. Today, we turn to their Etichetta Nera.

The Etichetta Nera shares a similar walk-on-tip-toe mountain wine energy. Like the Etichetta Bianca, there is plenty of finesse, but it is more masculine, denser, stonier, richer and more intense.

The Etichetta Nera really tends to separate itself from the Etichetta Bianca over the longer term. It rewards the patient.

The Etichetta Nera is only produced in vintages that they feel are special. It represents a special selection from top sites and sees barrel aging, a tiny portion of which is in new oak. In vintages when it’s produced, Ferrando makes only about 3,000 bottles.

Carema sits in the shadows of Mont Blanc and in this cool Alpine environment, warmer vintages like 2011 add another layer of complexity to the wine without sacrificing the snap and aromatics that make Carema so special.

Etichetta Nera's longevity is legendary. This is an alpine Nebbiolo built to age. Neal Rosenthal, Ferrando's importer, speaks of a 1964 Etichetta Nera that hit its apogee in 1998 - at 34 years of age.

Rosenthal is not shy about his love of Ferrando's Carema. "When I am asked which wine would I choose were I to be restricted to a single one, my answer is: Carema," he writes. And this is coming from a person with Fourrier's Griotte at his fingertips! We feel similarly about these wines that we see far too little of. Please give us your ideal order and we'll try our best.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits