Cabernet Gernischt confirmed to be Carmenere

An Update to my earlier post,
Chinese Wine – Changyu Cabernet D’Est available at Fareham Wine Cellar.

I have been alerted to an article by Jancis Robinson about the Changyu Cabernet Gernischt Red Blend 2011. As you may know Jancis and José Vouillamoz have just released what is probably the definitive book about wine grapes called Wine Grapes. Apparently José Vouillamoz managed to get some samples of Cabernet Gernischt from Changyu and DNA analysis has confirmed it to be none other than Carmenere!

“This turned out to be the local grape speciality, the variety known in China as Cabernet Gernischt, probably a mistaken transcription of Cabernet Gemischt, or ‘mixed Cabernets’, on some cuttings. Our co-author of Wine Grapes, José Vouillamoz, managed to get samples of this variety from China’s biggest winery Changyu to analyse their DNA and established that Cabernet Gernischt is in fact Carmenère, the old Bordeaux variety now so common in Chile. Hence the green note, for it is evident in many examples of Carmenère grown even in the much hotter climate of Chile.”

Previously it was thought that Cabernet Gernischt was a Cabernet Sauvigon and Cabernet Franc cross or perhaps simply Cabernet Franc. It certainly shares many characteristics of Cabernet France and can be quite green and herbal.

Read the rest of the Jancis Robinson’s article here.

Changyu Cabernet d’Est (85% Cabernet Gernischt)

Changyu Cabernet D’Est is produced from 75 hectares of vines, that have been organic for three years. From the 2012 the wine should be able to be labelled as such. The vineyards are located in Ningxia, China‘s newest wine-growing area, in the Helan Mountain region, located in Central Western China on the fringes of the Gobi Desert and close to the Yellow River. This is quite an arid area but with good sunlight hours which allows the grapes to ripen fully. Situated at 1100m, the warm days are coupled with cool nights which means the resulting wine retains freshness.
The 2010 vintage is a blend of 85% Cabernet Gernischt, 7.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7.5% Merlot.

Changyu Cabernet D’Est has attractive and typical Cabernet aromas of blackcurrants, currant leaf and mineral on the nose. The palate is clean, stylish and medium-bodied, with a fine balance of freshness to depth.

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