My Carmenere fixation began with a visit to Village Wines where Patrick Merry of Merry Cellars was pouring his 2006 Seven Hills Vineyard Carmenere. At that very moment a believer was born in all things Carmenere.
And then wandering around Woodinville’s warehouse district I discovered Smasne Cellars 2006 Carmenere – Phinney Hill Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills. bold, pepper, spicey really nice.
Well, back in the warehouse district, hearing rumors about Smasne Cellars 2007 yet to be released Carmenere. I made a visit to Smasne and Gard Vintners tasting room. Bart Fawbush, up and coming winemaker and owner of Bartholomew Winery was running the show for Smasne. He said I could look but not touch. Despite Bart’s artful Carmenere tasting dodge Bart admitted to being a fan and that he will be releasing his own 50% Cab and 50% Carmenere called Reciprocity sometime this year.
Leaving Smasne a bit dejected I went to JM Cellars. Without mentioning my previous close encounter with the grape of the moment John Bigelow offered a barrel tasting of their yet released Carmenere….it was excellent….(rumor is only 80 cases wine club member only wine).
So, my recommendation if you want to experience Carmenere at it’s finest make a visit to JM Cellars, go on the winery tour with John and ask about their Carmenere….soon. Another option would be to convince Smasne Cellars you are worthy of a pre-release tasting somehow, someway!
And then let me know what you think..capiche?