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Nuthatch Carmenere 09

Nuthatch Cellars

$28.95 Regular

in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case




A tiny winery here in Corvallis makes an unusual varietal, and does a super job at a super price. The fruit is from one of the few plantings of Carmenere in the Northwest, at Phinney Hill Vineyard in Washington State.

On the nose ripe blackberry melds with eucalyptus, spice, pepper, and coffee in our inaugural rendition of this old Bordeaux varietal. On the palate, Asian spice and pepper combine with ripe red and black fruit, and silky tannins to create a very long finish.

Exploring Wine Territory - Carmenere

"A "Friends of Avalon" Story
ByTiffany Stevens

Wine Reviewed:
Nuthatch Cellars Carmenere 08

Carmenère. Its popularity is gaining momentum in the Pacific Northwest, yet may be unfamiliar to many. It is one of the six red grape varieties grown in Bordeaux, France and blended in their world renowned wines. Nuthatch Cellars explores this Old World varietal with their 2008 Carmenère.

Thinking about my dinner menu and what would pair well with this wine, I decided on Beef Soft Tacos. I opened up the wine before dinner and poured myself a small glass. Whiffs of green pepper and leaves emerged with an undercurrent of black fruit. I wondered if similar flavors waited inside the glass. With black currant softly in the background, a bit of tobacco and more rustic flavors took the lead. At that moment, I regretted not making the tacos with more spice! "What I have here", I thought to myself, "is a wallflower in the dinner department."

Desiring to give the wine a more suitable dinner companion, I waited for the next night's dinner to see what this Carmenère was really about. Rosemary, garlic and shallot marinated steak would be accompanied by creamy, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. The marinade's savory flavors struck a nice balance with subtle blackberry, pepper, and green tea characteristics of the wine.

Given an additional day, the green pepper nuances that were more prominent on Day 1 were softened, and a small burst of bright fruit was revealed on the front palate. Tasting this wine over the course of a couple of days with a variety of food allowed it to show its full spectrum. Exploring wine territory is an adventure that often works best when experimenting, keeping an open mind. Being guided by one's own tastes and preferences is the key to success!

- Tiffany

Carmenere was transplanted in extremely small quantities in Washington State within the last ten years, we are extremely fortunate to have obtained this rare fruit; and we are one of the few, if not the only Oregon wineries to produce it. We believe this variety has a great future in the Pacific Northwest.

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