Articles Tagged Carmenere

Disarmed By Carm (A Chilean Carménère Masterclass)

Vinted on December 14, 2017 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, overachiever wines, sexy wines, wine review
Wines of CHile Carménère tasting 2017

I know we look serious, but much fun was actually had by all

Earlier this week, I took part in an online masterclass/virtual-round-table of sorts with Wines of Chile and Snooth, tasting through a selection of Chilean Carménère reds (some of which you can purchase via a pretty good deal right now), with a group of capable and affable fellow wine-media-types (including @WineDineWanda, @enobytes, @talkavino, and @KellyMitchell).

If you’re kind of scratching your head on the uncharacteristically quick turnaround time in recapitulating the experience here on 1WD, it’s because the whole online-video-Carménère thing is nostalgic for me, as it was one of the first such tastings that I ever did under the 1WD umbrella (back when the writing here could charitably be described as fledgling…).

While almost unlikely to become a crowd favorite based on availability alone, Carignan is probably the empirically best Chilean red fine wine grape, or at least the one with the most depth, intrigue, and soul.

Having said that, the much more ubiquitous Carménère from Chile is still an incredible bargain, and arguably has never been better (or easier to enjoy even at modest price points). In Carménère, Chile is leveraging its ever-increasing winemaking knowledge levels to the full, combining modern know-how with more hand-crafted approaches; the results in some cases are single vineyard wines from older vines that provide an intellectually captivating experience at prices that still kind of defy credulity. At least, that’s how I’m increasingly seeing that landscape, particularly based on what we tasted during our video meetup…

Read the rest of this stuff »

0

 

 

“Fire The Accountants” (Inama Recent Releases)

Inama Foscarino

What do you do at harvest time if you are part of a family wine business, but are highly allergic to pollen?

If you’re Alessio Inama, son of Azienda Agricola Inama‘s Stefano Inama, you hoof it to the major wine markets, and take media types like me out to dinner so that we can taste your wines. Which is how I got to meet Alessio at Philly’s excellent Fishtown-area haunt Root last week.

Alessio describes his father as “a crazy man,” and certainly he has a rep in the wine world for possessing the quintessentially Italian trait of bucking convention (which is second only to the quintessentially Italian trait of adhering almost blindly to tradition). This is fortunate for anyone who loves eclectic northern Italian white wines, as Inama is now well-known as producing the thinking person’s Soave. Alessio quoted his father as saying “the first step to making a great wine… is to fire the accountant.” It’s hard not to like such a character (unless you’re his accountant). Especially when he also makes Carmenere (more on that in a minute).

Back in the 70s, Soave had its heyday, being one of the most recognizable Italian wine regions, if not its most famous white wine regional brand. As in all such things, insipidness and market hangover ensued, and by the 1990s Soave wasn’t much considered as the world turned to Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay (though Soave remained popular in its home country). It was during the heyday in the`70s that Alessio’s grandfather, Giuseppe, began buying up small, lava basalt hillside lots in the Soave Classico region (today they own about 30 hectares).

Today, Soave is a bit of a bell curve. At one end, you have insipid, forgettable quaffers; in the middle, a large production of capable, often very good, almost always refreshing sippers best enjoyed in the warmest months; on the tail end, a small number of producers who push the region’s Garganega grape to its physiological – and philosophical -limits…

Read the rest of this stuff »

2

 

 

Finding the Lost Grape of Bordeaux (Tasting With Chile’s Top Carmenere Winemakers)

Vinted on November 9, 2009 binned in wine industry events

Last week, I attended an on-line video conference / wine tasting that involved a handful of wine bloggers from around the U.S., as well as eight of Chile’s most talented young winemakers (congregated in Santiago), moderated by Wines of Chile in N.Y.  While I’m used to this kind of cross-time-zone, cross-cultural meeting (as well as utilizing video and conference call across the same) from working in IT, I had no idea how this would transpire in the context of wine.

And I’ve never tasted eight samples of Chilean Carmenere wines on an IT conference call.

So… how did it go?

I’m happy to report that I found the event to be great fun and quite well executed.  The technology worked well and I only found minor cavils – like wanting the in-conference chat to work like twitter, preferably integrated with twitter – which I think speaks to the professionalism and quality of the event overall if those are my only complaints.

Last week, I’d written that this event could prove to be a seminal moment in my wine-lovin’ days, as it focused almost exclusively on Carmenere, a grape with which I’ve had a troubled history.  In summary, I’ve been critical of Chile’s ability to deliver on the potential of the grape as (in my experience) they’d yet to get pyrazine (which imparts ‘green’ aromas of bell pepper and pine) truly under control and balanced with the dark fruit flavors of the grape.

I was placing (perhaps unjustifiably) a lot of pressure on this event, as I was expecting (perhaps justifiably) that Wines of Chile would ‘go big’ and bring some heavy hitters to the party – i.e., really show what Chile was capable of when it comes to Carmenere.

So… how were the wines?

In summary: a mixed bag…

Read the rest of this stuff »

12

 

 

Carmenere: The Great Lost Grape of Bordeaux Gets A Troubled Chilean Makeover

Vinted on November 2, 2009 binned in wine industry events

This week just might mark a seminal event in my personal wine journey.  Either that, or a huge, disappointing wine bust served up on a bed of bell pepper and pine needles.

On November 4th, I’ll be taking part with a small group of bloggers in an on-line tasting event with Wines of Chile, the theme of which is “Discover Carmenere: The Lost Grape.”  Why is this a boom-or-bust wine moment for me?  Because I have what I would call a troubled relationship with Carmenere.

Of course, I love the idea of this grape, the story of Carmenere – it’s the stuff of which wine legends are made.

Carmenere was born in Bordeaux, and thought to be extinct after outbreaks of oidium and then the Phylloxera epidemic in the 1800s, which wiped out a good portion of the wine grape vineyards of Europe.  Though widely thought to be able to help produce high quality wines, Carmenere was pretty much abandoned in France in favor of varieties that were less susceptible to disease, ripened more consistently and produced better yields.  But, Carmenere was not dead – plantings were transported, from France to South America, along with vineyard workers looking for more gainful employment at the time (just prior to the Phylloxera outbreak).  For almost one hundred years, the vine thrived in Chile and was thought to be Merlot; it was discovered to in the mid 1990s to actually be the ‘lost grape’ – Carmenere.

So now we have a legendary Bordeaux grape long considered extinct, thriving in the New Wine World and growing on its own, ungrafted rootstock.  The modern wine Coelacanth.  The Grape from The Land of The Lost (Sleestaks sold separately).

So what’s the trouble?  Well, in my experience, the tale spun about the lost grape Carmenere is a lot more compelling than the wine that Carmenere is actually producing…

Read the rest of this stuff »

30

 

 

The Fine Print

This site is licensed under Creative Commons. Content may be used for non-commercial use only; no modifications allowed; attribution required in the form of a statement "originally published by 1WineDude" with a link back to the original posting.

Play nice! Code of Ethics and Privacy.

Contact: joe (at) 1winedude (dot) com

Google+

Labels

Vintage

Find

Sign up, lushes!

Enter your email address to subscribe and get all the good stuff via email.

Join 40,376 other subscribers