Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Royal Grape From Bordeaux That Needs a Crown

Most people think, even winos like myself, think that the royal grapes of Bordeaux consists of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Well there's one grape that most people overlook, Carmenere. Carmenere was pretty much the only varietal that could not be grown back in Bordeaux once the Phylloxera disease got into the roots, so Chile decided to adopt the grape, and there it has flourished. Although, many old-school wine critics consider Carmenere and other Bordeaux rejects (like Malbec and Pinot Verdot), as blending grapes, in the right terroir, these grapes have the ability to come into their own identities. So, enough with the history lesson, let's get into the wine I'm drinking tonight. I am drinking Anakena Carmenere 2005 Rapel Valley Single Vineyard. On the nose I pick up Blackberries, soil/graphite, and a hint of hickory stick and vanilla. I also catch a little bit of a vegetal note such as small green cabbage. Upon tasting this wonderful wine I realize that most of the nose translates directly to the palate. I'm tasting spice, blackberries, cherries, graphite, soil, and a hint of hickory stick and strawberries on the side of the palate. To be specific, I'm tasting most of the fruit in the front, except for the hickory and hint of strawberries on the sides of the mid palate, allowing the finish to stand alone with it's dry and round tannins. I, myself really love Carmenere as a grape, so if you get a chance pick one up, try it and leave a comment. All bottles are different, but for my palate, my deserted island wine collection would have to include a great number of Carmeneres, I love the complexities of this grape that much.

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