Carlos Caruncho’s story is an interesting one. He was born in Cuba, attended university in Russia, and then defected. First he went to Canada, then the USA in 1991, and received refugee status in 1992. Caruncho then worked for five years for Gideon Beinstock making wine in northern California before taking wine chemistry classes at UC Davis and then making his first solo wine in 2007.
A spell in the UK, and then some time in vineyards in Europe followed. Caruncho headed back to California in 2015 where he took over an abandoned vineyard on the western slope of the Sierra Navada, near Navada City. This gives him 2 hectares of Chardonnay and 2 of Sauvignon Blanc. He supplements this fruit by sourcing grapes from other vineyards. The wines are made in a hands off way with the only addition a bit of SO2 at grape reception and bottling.
Arquils Maestro 2 2019 California
13.5% alcohol. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Merlot and Cabernet Franc whole cluster, co-fermented with destemmed Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet, berry fruits on the nose with a nice subtle green fringing. The palate is supple and well balanced with lovely sweet strawberry and red cherry fruit, and a touch of blackcurrant, and also a nice grainy savoury dimension. It has some real elegance and lovely balance with fine spicy tannins and nice supple fruit. Finishes with a bit of crunch. Medium-bodied, drinkable and fun, but with a serious side. 92/100
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