Chamard Vineyards ~ The Reds (Connecticut)

Marguerite BarrettChamard Vineyards / Photo: Marguerite Barrett
Contributing Writer

For 2009, Chamard has three reds, the 2005 Merlot, the 2005 Cabernet Franc and the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2007 Rosé.  Only the Merlot and the Cabernet Franc remain on the tasting menu; as of my visit in early July only 2 cases remained of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

I began the Reds with the

2005 Merlot A blend of 80% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Pinot Noir,  this is a lighter-bodied wine than either a California or European Merlot.  The nose is earthy, but still has that “tang” that I’ve discovered is very typical of Northeastern reds, particularly Merlots.  It’s almost as if the wine has a touch of salty sea air that comes out in the nose.  The wine itself is smooth and dry, with subtle notes of dark chocolate and raspberry.  The finish has interesting notes of pepper, and the wine lingers at the end.  It’s an interesting wine, and of Connecticut Merlots, one of my top five.  This should age nicely and will definitely benefit from decanting.

Chamard Vineyards - back vineyardsThe last wine of the tasting was the

2005 Cabernet Franc 80% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 2% Pinot Noir, the Cab Franc is a lovely wine, and with the Estate Reserve Chardonnay, my favorite wine of the afternoon.  The color is a lovely rich garnet, and the nose is soft with light notes of spice and berry.  In the mouth the wine is smooth, rich and complex with notes of both chocolate and raspberry that linger on the palate.    Like the Merlot, the Cabernet Franc will age well, and will pair well with a variety of foods.

Chamard also produces an Estate Reserve Cabernet Franc, which had sold out shortly before my visit.   They do keep bottles of every vintage and often have older vintages available in the cellar.  If interested, and if the tasting room isn’t too busy, ask the Staff and they’ll root around downstairs and try to locate a bottle or two for you.

Chamard, like most wineries, offer a 10% case discount.  Purchase of your first case enrolls you in Chamard’s VIP Membership, which provides you with complimentary wine tastings, a 10% discount on all future purchases, and invitations to special VIP Only Events.  Chamard’s wines can be purchased from the winery, through their website (they ship to most states), and in wine shops throughout Connecticut.

Chamard Vineyards, July 2009 Tasting Menu / Photo: Marguerite Barrett

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