Illumina Carmenere 2018

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Illumina Carmenere 2018
Illumina Carmenere 2018
Carmenere is a varietal that shows great potential in Texas. It allows a wide-ranging array of wine styles depending on ripeness levels, essentially: the longer the fruit hangs on the vine (as in a late harvest scenario), the riper and softer the fruit becomes, which translates to the wine. Late harvest wines are relatively low in anti-oxidants, taste great almost as soon as they're made, require minimal bottle aging, and have a fruit-forward profile that is eternally popular in America.
California introduced late-harvest wines to the wine world 45 years ago, and the California model has been extensively embraced by Americans. While the late-harvest model works well with grapes like Cabernet Clone 7 (the prdeominant varietal used for this style), a significant number of varieties and clones have a special "signature" for which they are known and prized (e.g., pyrazines (pepper spice) and various floral compounds), but which reach a zenith in the middle of the harvest season and then begin to decline if the fruit remains on the vine longer. If a winemaker wants to capture these unique "signature" flavors and aromatics in a wine, they miss the optimal window to do so in a late-harvest scenario.  Both Carmenere and Cab Franc present great working examples of this decision spectrum. If you want a spicier version of either varietal, you need to harvest these varietals mid-season, but if you want a fruit-juicier version, then you look to a late-season harvest. 
Our 2018 Carmenere is a moderately late-season wine. It's fruit-juicy and expansive with ripe, soft tannins, in a more West Coast style. It will be largely embraced by those who are more accustomed to premium California wines. However, in the process of making this late season wine, we gave up some of the pepper spice that is so uniquely special, so our 2019 and 2020 Carmenere wines will be somewhat spicier versions, harvested closer toward the mid-season.
Other notes

Harvest rate: 2 tons per acre

DesignationGillespie County, Texas
Volume750 ml
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