Holmes Harbor Cellars 2009 Carménère, Walla Walla Valley, $34

By on July 4, 2013

Holmes Harbor Cellars on Whidbey Island makes Carmenere from Walla Walla Valley grapes.Carménère is one of our favorite red wine grapes – not only does it produce delicious and distinctive wines, but it also has a great story behind it. Carménère is one of the original Bordeaux red varieties and was once thought to rival Cabernet Sauvignon in quality. But the great phylloxera scourge in the late 19th century all but wiped out the variety because it didn’t take well to grafting. Fortunately, some examples were planted in Chile prior to phylloxera, though it was thought to be Merlot until the last 20 years, when it was “rediscovered.” Now it thrives in Washington, particularly the Walla Walla Valley. This example from a western Washington winery opens with aromas of cedar, cigar leaf, mint and peppercorns, followed by bold flavors of Rainier cherry, blueberry and raspberry, all backed with sturdy tannins and acids. Pair with teriyaki beef, lamb or lentil-based soups and stews.

Rating: Recommended

Production: 73 cases

Alcohol: 12.4%

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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