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Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
  • RP90
  • WE90
14% ABV
  • WW89
  • WS90
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • W&S90
  • WS90
  • WE89
  • WE91
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3.4 37 Ratings
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3.4 37 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.

Blend: 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 16% Malbec, 16% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Grand Classique is a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 16% Malbec, 16% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc aged in new and used barrel for 18 months. It has a lifted bouquet of raspberry and dark plum aromas that needs to develop more complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet, kirsch-tinged entry. The acidity is very well entwined with the bright redcurrant and strawberry fruit that leads to a bright, vibrant finish. Perhaps not a long term Grand Classique, but this is well crafted.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Notes of cocoa and oak-derived spice add depth to the ripe, dark fruit core of this wine. Black berry, cherry and plum flavors abound on the plush palate, framed by firm tannins and a thick, supple texture. Gripping plum-skin and cigar-box notes linger long on the finish.
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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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The South African wine renaissance is in full swing. Impressive red and white bargains abound. South Africa has a long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. 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, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping 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 the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

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 earthy, gamey 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 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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

RPT26060405_2009 Item# 116240