16 May 2013

Chile's contribution to world class red wine

Chile's contribution to world class red wine

Most wine people are familiar with Chilean Cabernets, but we find that often Carmenere is not getting the recognition it deserves.

Carmenere is one of those grape varietals that is still flying under most people’s radar screen. Although native to France’s Bordeaux region, it was not replanted in Bordeaux after the phelloxera outbreak in the 1850’s, mainly because the wine producers preferred the 5 red varieties that today comprise the Bordeaux blend, with Merlot being the most widely planted red grape in Bordeaux.
Carmenere found its way to Chile where it was confused with Merlot for many years. Carmenere ripens later than Merlot, so the “Merlot” from Chile was traditionally green and vegetal in character, because the average Merlot had a good percentage of Carmenere in it. Progress was initially slow in terms of separating it out from Merlot and finding the proper areas to plant Carmenere to guarantee that it would ripen properly. Today Chilean Carmenere can be very well made and age worthy, showing some really complex characters and depth of flavor.

Now it seems that all the kinks and idiosyncrasies have been worked out and Carmenere has started to show what it is capable of producing. One of the best versions we have come across the past few years is the Concha Y Toro Terrunyo Block 27 Carmenere 2009 from the Peumo Vineyard, which although priced at the premium category, has been an exceptional rendition of the varietal. The 2009 Terrunyo Block 27 has just come out into our market and it is another stellar effort. We have seen this going for from anywhere between $35-$40 per bottle but we have worked out a deal where we can offer it for $31.99 a bottle and $27.99 when you purchase 6 bottles or more. Stocks are extremely limited and this offer will only be available for a short time.

Posted by Gregg 00:00:00

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