Tuesday, May 10, 2005
A Taste of Chile
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a wine tasting sponsored by Wines of Chile, which is the promotional arm for the Chilean wine industry. The event was held during the afternoon at Zaytinya and featured various producers respresenting various wine growing regions in Chile, from the hot, dry north, to the cooler southern regions. Many of the wines on display were red, with a smattering of whites.
A highlight of the afternoon--a seminar on Carmenere, moderated by Joshua Greene, editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits Magazine. During the seminar, Mr. Greene discussed the Carmenere grape, how it made it way to Chile from Bordeaux, and how it was mistaken and bottled as Merlot by wine producers. This was coupled with a tasting of six very distinct examples of Carmenere from some of Chile's most esteemed producers.
Phil Prifold and myself sample some Pinot Noir
To me, Carmenere is a very food-friendly wine and quite easy to gulp down in large quanities. Not overly tannic, the typical example exhibits notes of white and green pepper and loads of juicy dark fruit (plum, cherry). My fvaorite examples finish off with a silky, velvety finish of soft tannins and juicy fruit. While I am quite satisfied drinking Carmenere on its own, it also pairs well with lamb, beef, and ostrich, a meat I was able to sample on a recent trip to Santiago de Chile, which paired well with a glass of Carmenere.
"Looks like it has nice color Phil!"
A few of my favorite Carmenere-based wines include:
Ojdfell Vineyards Orzada Carmenere
Santa Rita Triple C
Santa Ema Reserve Carmenere