Driving around in the rain a few days in a row marked that reality of life in the Northwest that summer has truly ended. That fantastic endless summer of 2015 crashing down with each droplet of rain. So sad. The only redeeming reminder of that reality is that the rain and crisp fall air brings an end to harvest. The bounty thankfully remains.
Vintage 2015 is fermenting. It is yet to be seen what this hotter than normal, early harvest, fire and drought year will do to the magic of the wine made this vintage. A distinguished year for sure.
In the wait for vintage 2015 why not bring in the new season with some spicy, bold reds. One of the “other” reds that I think goes particularly well with Fall is…Carmenere.
A visit to Prosser a month ago inspired my on-going fascination with the lost Bordeaux. Mostly associated with master winemakers in Chile. It’s original home was Bordeaux. Carmenere is also finding a home in Washington. And, yes, I’ve written about Carmenere before if this is all sounding familiar.
Pontin Del Roza winery in Prosser is one of my favorite grower, winemaker, wineries in Eastern, Washington. They are the real deal. If you stop by you have a very good chance of meeting the winemaker, Scott, or more impressively one of his parents. Pontin del Roza is a thriving estate winery with over 100 acres of 10 varietals including: Riesling, Malbec, Syrah, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère and Petit Verdot.
Fortunately, during my visit to the Pontin’s they were pouring their Carmenere and Sangiovese. Both of these sell out quickly so it was nice to be there before that happened. Which is not usually how it goes for me. Pontin’s 2013 Carmenere expressed all the fabulous elements characteristic of the grape. It had less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, and is a milder red, with fruity dark cherry and spicy notes.
Carmenere is often used as a blending grape but finding a 100% version is worth the pursuit. Give it a try.
Salut to Fall!