Review: Duplin Carolina Red
In many areas of the country, wine shoppers will never see muscadine wine on the shelf. A specialty of the Southeast United States, muscadine wines tend to be sweet, and rarely go above 10% ABV. If your only experience with sweet wines are northern natives like Concord, Muscadines can likewise jolt the taste buds with their flavor, with lots of aromatics and notes of tropical fruit and an interesting tart-sweet kick unlike any other wine, and one that must be tasted to be truly appreciated.
If you know a muscadine at all, it is likely Scuppernong, and you will certainly see those reviewed on this site in the future. But our tasting panel recently sat down with Duplin’s Carolina Red, made from the James grape. Duplin is the South’s oldest and largest winery, and the one you are most likely to see on Northern shelves.
Deep pink in the glass, nose of banana, blackberry and cherry. Sweetness hits you up front, but it is not cloying, and is certainly not as sweet as northern Concords. Light lemon, tart cherry, and raspberry jam dominate the taste. The wine clocks in at the unusual for a muscadine level of 12%, but subsequent research discovered the grapes are harvested later than most muscadines.
The wine is certainly not complex, but native grapes rarely are. It is quite refreshing, and a great value, and those who enjoy sweet wines should seek it out.
Wine: Carolina Red
From: Duplin, Rose Hill, North Carolina
Rating: 90 points