Carmenère is a rarity in California, but this bottling, which includes 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, makes a strong case for planting more. Smoky blueberry and black currant scents meet with bacon fat, toast and rocky minerality on the nose. The palate blends black plum with vanilla bean and mocha flavors. Quite accessible, interesting and delicious.
A fifth generation Californian originally from San Jose, Matt Kettmann covers California’s Central Coast and South Coast for the magazine. He is also the senior editor of The Santa Barbara Independent, where he’s worked since 1999, has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, Wine Spectator, and Smithsonian, and co-founded New Noise Santa Barbara, a music festival.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.