Dark, dense colouring. A rich and full nose of ripe red figs fused with a natural chalky element. Presenting a soft palate
entrance with a tone of fresh lime that cuts through a mildly dense mid-palate. Dark chocolate follows, creating an impressively fleshy palate weight. The wine lingers with notes of ripe plums and red figs. A beautiful balance of smooth tannins, ripe berry fruits with creatively integrated oak elements.
The Carménère berries are meticulously sorted to ensure that all the fruit is in perfect condition before the fermentation is initiated. Limited fruit means limited blending options, and thus spontaneous fermentation was the call to make in developing the desired taste and palate-feel of the final product. The fruit was fermented in two open barrels of which 1 barrel was new oak. The fermented juice was drawn-off twice daily and then slowly percolated over the skins to minimise the extraction of the greener herbaceous flavours. This action also promotes oxygen to stabilize colour and assists in softening the tannin structure. After fermentation, the wine was matured in 50% new French oak and 50% older oak.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTION
The fullness and dense expression on both the nose and palate of the Carménère make this wine an ideal partner to a beautifully dry-aged steak Or butternut squash steaks.
The Carménère has all the attributes required for long term ageing. Colour, soft and ripe tannin structure, depth of fruit and just enough acidity to carry all the components comfortably through time.
Carménère was the sixth varietal allowed under the appellation rules of Bordeaux. It was widely planted in the Medoc region in the 19th century and regarded as a mainstay of claret. In South Africa, there are only 3 red wines produced and bottled as Carménère. The vineyard block allocated to Carmen Stevens Wines, consists of merely 8 rows. We thus produce limited bottled quantities.