“Our wines reflect the beautiful area that we live in and the unique terroir of Carmel Valley”. In 1996, high in the hills of Carmel Valley, Paul Stokes planted their first vineyard. Today, in their state-of-the-art winery, the wine moves gently into French oak barrels by use of a gravity flow system rather than mechanical pumping. The grapes are hand harvested. With this hands-on approach of small lot production, using traditional techniques and sur lies aging, Wines of Carmel produces superb wines, expressing the unique characteristics of both the site and the grapes. The six acre Hidden Hills vineyard is home to our award winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Elevation of the vineyard is about 1,000 feet. The vineyard is partly dry-farmed and planted in chalk rock. The Phoenix vineyard is planted on a southwest-facing steep slope in pinot noir, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon.
Chardonnay is the famous varietal responsible for the finest white burgundies of France. It is an incredibly versatile grape and our wines benefit from French oak aging to bring out the butterscotch and toasty flavors without overshadowing the fruit flavors characteristic of Chardonnay-green apple, pear, lemon, fig, pineapple, melon, and honey.
Pinot noir is another grape varietal hailing from the Burgundy region of France. Often regarded as one of the world’s most elegant wines, it has an elusive, capricious character that can express itself in a range of flavors and styles. Our pinot noir has the beautiful rich burgundy color, soft tannins, and traditional sweetness of fruit of the classic pinots. Fruit flavors range from strawberry to cherry to plums while aromas of sandal wood, spice and flower are not uncommon to the varietal.
Cabernet Sauvignon — the great Bordeaux of France, is now known to be, through DNA fingerprinting, a cross between two French varietals: Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. With its high tannin levels, thick skins, and incredible blue color, resulting in great longevity and distinctive aromas, Cabernet Sauvignon has wonderful fruit flavors of cassis, black currant, chocolate, spice, and violet. Years of bottle aging lead to an ever evolving interplay between the fruit, tannins, French oak, and alcohol. Our Cabernet Sauvignons are never released before their time-often four to five years after harvest.
Syrah, shown by DNA to be a cross between two French varietals, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche, did not become planted widely in California until the 1980’s. In cooler climates, the Syrah has deep color, fruity aromas tat range from cassis to berry with a classic pepper finish that is not overly tannic. It is often used for blending such as Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, an Australian concept, as well as other Rhone blends.