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."
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Bottle: The tall-shouldered Bordeaux bottle features a front label with several hints. "Rhone Varietal Blend," "Monterey County Red Table Wine," "Fremir Vineyards." It's a Mosby, without the usual art show, though. Too bad. The Mosby label is generally as beautiful as the wine behind it. This wine clocks in with an abv of 13.5%. The back label promises flavors of black cherry, cola and cinnamon. It does not say so on the label, but my tasting room notes mentioned a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre. It goes for $22 at the winery.
The Nose: It's lush in here. A bit of alcohol and the faint trace of the oak, but what really comes forward is the cherry that back label told us about. I don't get the cinnamon, but there is some sort of sweetness creeping through, like a candy I can't quite name. Faint traces of, oddly enough, Super Bubble bubble gum.
The Taste: That cinnamon is there on the palate, right up front. A good deal of heat, too, upon opening. But it's a fruit explosion in my mouth, tons of cherry cola. This wine really finishes pretty well, too. The nice ruby color is see-through, but not too light. The mouthfeel is full and yummy. This will be nice with a pepper steak or a pork chop. This makes me want to schedule a trip to Buellton. I'm going to want some more of this.
Afterword: The second night it was open, the wine began to show some interesting aspects that were not apparent to me upon opening the bottle. It began to display a more vegetal side on the nose and palate, something akin to a bell pepper. This occurrence sort of dialed the sweetness back a notch and replaced it with a darker, more insidious character. It's still a very good wine. It seems to get more complex the longer it is open.