Grape Profile: Chambourcin

Today’s post features one of the gazillion random grape varieties out there: Chambourcin (SHAM-bur-sen). Just like we saw with Sauvignon Gris, we can count on Clearview to utilize these rarities. 

What struck me about this grape variety is that it temporarily fooled me into thinking it was a Teinturier grape, with red flesh.

Sneaky little buggers. 

The truth is, Chambourcin has very dark purple skins that stain on contact. Their juice, however, seems to still be white. Don’t quote me on that though, I’m still confused.

What I do know is what this great wine book of Cody’s says:

“Chambourcin: A French hybrid, one of the best in existence, that produces wines of an intensely purple color and a pronounced flavor of black chrries and plums, sometimes with a touch of spice or game. This wine is best drunk when young or fresh.”*

One of the best French hybrids out there! Way to go, obscure grape I had never heard of until this week. 

At Clearview, the Chambourcin grapes are used in the rosé for awesome color. After the grapes were destemmed, they cold-soaked overnight, which infuses the color from the dark skins into the juice that will be come rosé. 

Harvest has been progressing steadily and very well, despite some rain in the last couple weeks. Yesterday it POURED through the afternoon and evening,

and I got to watch the clouds get bigger and darker and closer as we moved (increasingly quickly) down the row. The downpour started just as we finished, so I got to head home to a crackling fire and a glass of low-alcohol, medium + sweet, Muskat. 

Double thumbs up.

With the end of vintage drawing ominously near, we’ve started to make plans to head back to California – and of course, consulting our phones when we don’t want to make a decision.

…I maybe should be a little less uptight about the planning. But it’s a work-in-progress. 

*Clarke, Oz & Margaret Rand. Grapes and Wines. Time Warner/Wesaubster: London, 2003. Pg 59.  

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