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william fevre carmenereInky and deeply concentrated, Carmenere originated in France, a cross between Cabernet Franc and Gros Cabernet. It has largely disappeared from their preferring the warmer, drier climate of Chile where they are committed to this grape.

This wine is caught bobbing between soft and smooth and sharp and unruly. But it all comes together nicely. A highly recommended study in contrasts. Red raspberry and blackberry aromas are animated by a strong dose of jalapeno wrapped in chocolate—a simple but bold nose. That green pepper or wild herbal note is what makes this grape distinctive.

Carmenere is not noted for its acidity. But this wine vibrates with a peppery tang, and a hi-toned mineral seam that draws a contrast with the concentrated, persistent fruit power, rich chocolate and tobacco notes. The initial impression of richness is supplemented by a pointed angularity as the finish unfolds with some bitterness that gives the wine a pleasant but bracing, rustic edge. A dark, burnt wood quality lurks in the background.

Tender and rowdy like Bonnie Raitt Love Sneakin’ up on You.

Technical Notes: 93% Carmenere with a dash of Cabernet France and Cabernet Sauvignon. 13 months in oak. William Fèvre is best known for their Grand Crus vineyards in Chablis but they bought several vineyards in Chile in the early 1990’s.

Score: 90

Price: $22

Alc: 13.9%