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Review from Tastings.com (Beverage Tasting Institute, Chicago):
Our seventh vintage of this rare wine for us at Yorkville Cellars . The "lost" red grape of the Bordeaux region and nearly extinct there, but then rediscovered in Chile, where there are over 21,800 acres growing. In California with about 478,000 acres of wine grapes, it is an extremely rare grape with only 56 bearing acres. Similar to a richer, more aromatic Merlot, this wine is deeply colored, dark and brooding, with prominent blackberry and boysenberry fruit. It has seductive dark chocolate aromas along with a undertones of pepper and earth. Bright cherry and medium tannins to finish, making it an excellent food wine; a nice complement to braised meats and stews.
Distinguished as one of the six Noble Red grapes of Bordeaux, it played a major role in the wines of the 1855 classifcation that built Bordeaux's reputation. You've seen Carmenere in the Chilean section in your wine store as Chile now has 98% of the world's plantings; so low odds of finding another Carmenere wine produced here.
Here is one of the better stories about Carmenere grapes we've found:
Carmenere: The Rediscovery of the King. [click here to read]
Our 2009 vintage was awarded 93 points:
Harvested on Oct. 26th grapes were gently crushed, and cold soaked for three days before innoculation with Pasteur Red yeast. Fermentation in tank was completed in 14 days, and then the wine was gently pressed and racked to French oak barrels for ageing. After 17 months in oak, the wines were settled, fined, and gently filtered before bottling. Delicious now, or hold 4-8 years.
A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name "Carménère" originates from the French word for crimson, which refers to the brilliant crimson color of the autumn foliage. Helps make our vineyard look like a box of Trix cereal.
Total Acidity: 6.1 gm/ liter
Residual Sugar: Dry
Barrels: 100% French
Barrel Aged: 17 months