The Carménère grape is originally from the Medoc region in Bordeaux, France and is often used in blending, very much like Petit Verdot. These days it has found a home in Chile where the terroir seems friendly to it. It has an intense deep red colour – hence the name – and has deep dark red berry flavours with a touch of spice. Think Shiraz with some Merlot.
At this time it is not much used here in SA but there is a farm in the Bonnievale area where they have fallen in love with it. As far as I am aware this is the first of its kind in South Africa.
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Carménère grape makes its way to SA
The Smuts family’s origins extend as far as Lucerne, Switzerland. They named their wines Lozärn, the Swiss-German translation for Lucerne, as a tribute to their heritage.
Based in Doornbosch, the Smuts family makes a single vineyard classic Carménère red, a Carménère rosé, and one they call Kay’s Legacy. The range also has an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc which received a Gold at the Michelangelo Awards. The winemaker Salome Buys-Vermeulen has her hand firmly on the till and will go from strength to strength with wines like this coming from Lozärn.
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The wines are available at Carolines and Wine Concepts, among other suppliers. To find out more about the Smuts family origins, visit the Lozärn website.
Words Greg Landman