Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserve Carmenere

Chile has been in my thoughts.  First, there is the massive earthquake on February 26, 2010.  Here's wishing the best for those affected by the disaster.  Second, a dear friend of ours, David Stanley, has been traveling in South America.  As soon as we heard about the quake, Denise and I thought of him.  We had just read his journal accounts of the great time he has been having  while living in Santiago for a couple of months, and of an ice-walking trip to Patagonia.  His travel blog makes for a wonderful read, by the way.

Anyway, a quick call to his mother confirmed that he was already safely in Buenos Aires.  Whew.  Relief turned to more consternation, though, as we thought about all the wonderful friends he had made in Chile.  We hope they are alright.  Also, as I tried to link up the Concha y Toro website, I was informed that the link appeared to be broken, or that the server was down.  I understand from a post on the Dr. Vino blog that a lot of damage has been incurred in the Rapel area.  Our thoughts are with the people of Chile.

Inspired, I dug around a bit and found some notes I had made about a bottle of Chilean Carmenere by Concha y Toro.  This is probably from about a year or so ago.

"From the "Cellar of the Devil", eh?  Well, the Casillero del Diablo is supposedly where Don Melchor de Concha y Toro kept his best wines stashed 100 years ago.  This wine is from the Rapel Valley, south of Santiago, and on the label the winemaker promises "chocolate, coffee and spice combined with raspberries and blackberries."  It sports a 13.5% abv number and it pours up dark and inky in the glass.

"The nose features Very dark fruit, and a promise of some intense minerals.  It's a powerful aroma of blackberries and maybe some licorice. Very nice.

"Let it sit about 10 minutes after pouring.  This is a very intense wine, full of spices - clove, a little cinnamon, pepper - and a strong sense of the earth.  Not a meek or mild wine, this Carmenere is brash and sinister.  Good tannins and ripe fruit are prominent with the cholcolately flavors underneath.  I don't really get the coffee that was promised, but that's okay.  There's enough here to prevent me from complaining.  It does go great with a piece of chocolate and it complemented a dish of blackened bar-b-q beans very nicely.  I would imagine it goes well with any sort of meat, particularly game."