Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot
Alc. 13.5 %
Bordeaux can seem like a confusing jumble of appellations, châteaux, and cru designations, which conspire to make it an intimidating wine region to dive into. But generations of wine lovers know it's well worth exploring. Starting with this beautiful Haut-Medoc from Château Caronne-Ste-Gemme will convince even the most staunchly new-world wine drinker that Bordeaux's fame is well deserved.
Château Caronne-Ste-Gemme is a historic property, with the earliest records of the vineyards dating back to 1648. It's been owned by the Borie-Nony family since 1900, and is today managed by third and fourth generation vignerons Jean and Francois. Their vineyards are planted to about 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot, which is roughly the final blend of this wine. After a slow, cool fermentation, the wine is aged 12 months in 25% new French oak barrels. Worth decanting in the short term, this bold, full-bodied red could easily age beautifully for another decade. Serve at about 18 C.
Classic Bordeaux aromatics of red and black currant, blackberry, and plum mingle with tertiary notes of sweet pipe tobacco, cedar, leather, and chocolate. With some time in the glass, the fruit becomes increasingly complex, with more delicate aromas of field strawberry, blueberry, and cranberry emerging.
Full bodied and brooding, Caronne Ste Gemme has fantastic texture and length. The tannins are fine and sandy, and the backbone of acidity keeps it fresh and vibrant. Youthful fruit flavours are at the fore, with plenty of blackberry, black currant, and cherry. A pleasant woodsy smokiness lingers on the finish, adding complexity and depth.
Try this showstopper of a red with an equally impressive meal like beef Wellington or roast leg of lamb, or similarly full-flavoured dishes that will draw out the earthy notes in the wine.