Australian Carnelian wine regional and flavour profile

Carnelian taste and aromas

Intense chocolate and dark berry fruit flavours

Carnelian mouthfeel

Well balanced, full bodied, firm tannins

Facts about Carnelian

  • Carnelian is a new grape variety created by American vine researcher Professor Harold Olmo in the seventies, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Grenache. The variety was developed in California during the early 1970s in an attempt to produce a grape that would do well in hot climates and still have Cabernet Sauvignon characteristics. The result was not widely successful, as the resulting wines were generally light bodied, rather bland, and did not acquire the desired Cabernet Sauvignon traits. As a result, there are only modest plantings of this grape around the world
  • In Australia the variety is present in a few Western Australian vineyards, planted there as a result of a mistake in a vine nursery. Several vineyards, including Howard Park in Margaret River, planted Carnelian rootlings that they believed were Sangiovese. By the time the mistake was discovered some wine had been made and the results were so good that the winemakers decided to persist with the variety. The scenario is reminiscent of Carmenere, mistakenly established in Chile in the belief that it was Merlot.

Australian regions that produce Carnelian

Carnelian is currently grown in Western Australia regions such as Perth Hills, Swan District, Margaret River, Manjimup and Central West Australia Zone.

Internationally it is also grown in Texas, California and Hawaii.

Carnelian wine and food pairings

This wine is a very versatile and can go with almost any type of food because of its non-overpowering nature. Best pairings are meats such as steak, roast beef or lamb, or grilled vegetables.


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