Blend: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Founded in 1996, Carmel Road's mission is to produce wine showcasing the unique nature of Monterey County terrior. The winery's debut release, the 1997 Chardonnay, demonstrates the potential of the Monterey County appellation to produce world-class wines.
Located just a few miles over the ridges from the Pacific Ocean, Carmel Road produces wines from vineyards set against the Santa Lucia range and in the Gabilan foothills. Winemaker Kris Kato grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he developed "the beer bug." But the fermentation science program at Oregon State University led him down the path of winemaking. He's worked at Central Coast wineries large and small, and notes both experiences prepared him for his role at Carmel Road, where he focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
"Pinot expresses itself more than any other variety, in terms of being nuanced-driven," Kris says. He's excited to be working with Monterey fruit, including from the winery's Panorama Vineyard. "I love to make small lots of wine from different parcels. It’s incredible to be able to choose the most distinct wines from the vineyard, and showcase them in different bottlings."
Covering the most vine acreage in the state compared to any other red wine variety, Cabernet Sauvignon produces as much wine in California as Merlot and Pinot Noir combined. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates, as well as the freedom of its winemakers, allow for an incredible range of wine styles from this single grape.
California’s most famous region—and especially for Cabernet Sauvignon—is the acclaimed Napa Valley. While Cabernet is successful throughout the world, rarely has it achieved such merit as it does from the Napa Valley. At this point the two are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other.
Napa’s closest neighbor, Sonoma County, does an impressive job keeping up with Napa’s fame and glory. Alexander Valley, Sonoma Mountain, Moon Mountain and Knights Valley contribute to the lot of some of California’s top-rated Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lake County in California’s North Coast has become a focus for some of Napa’s more respected growers. From the Central Coast come iconic examples of classic California Cabernet; Lodi and the Sierra Foothills are great budget-friendly sources of amicable Cabernets.