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Flat front label of wine

Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
  • RP92
  • WE91
14% ABV
  • WW89
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WE90
  • W&S90
  • WS90
  • WE89
  • WE91
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3.5 70 Ratings
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3.5 70 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is Glen Carlou's signature red wine. Rich ruby red in color this wine has aromas of red cherry with hints of young black fruits and oak. Flavors of black cured cherries, with layers of dark chocolate and tobacco with spice. The tannins are beautifully proportioned with mild toasted almond.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The most recent release is the 2008 Grand Classique, a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 14% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, and it is the first vintage that has seen 18 rather than 24 months of oak (40% new). The nose is refined and elegant with blackberry, cedar and a touch of cigar box whilst the palate is medium-bodied with harmonious blackberry, wild strawberry and tart red cherries. Understated and very well balanced, this is a succinct expression of South African Cabernet. Drink now-2017.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 14% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc offers a minty character that prevails among the intense black plum and berry aromas and flavors. Well-integrated, with a decadent crushed velvet texture and a long oak-kissed finish reminiscent of dark chocolate-covered cherries.
Editor's Choice
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Glen Carlou

Glen Carlou

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Glen Carlou, South Africa
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Glen Carlou was established in 1985, and since 2003, Glen Carlou has been solely owned and operated by Hess Family Estates. Glen Carlou is located in the picturesque Paarl Valley in the Cape Winelands in South Africa. They enjoy a Mediterranean climate of warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. An exciting variety of slopes and the riches of their soils create unique winegrowing conditions, while judicious vineyard practices ensure the cultivation of healthy flavorsome grapes reflecting the inherent characteristics of their terroir.

South Africa

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With an important wine renaissance is in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

JCZCARLOU_2008 Item# 109773