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A Carmenere From Chile

Carmenere is one of the staple red grapes of Chile, although for many decades they thought it was a Merlot clone.  Carmenere used to be a Bordeaux grape as well.  It can make very good wines, with power and depth if done well.  This wine is different, and I’d bet there will be a fair split between those who like it a lot and those who don’t.  Alex brought this home with him a few weeks ago.  He’s starting to get into wine and it’s interesting to get a chance to try some of the wines he experiments with.  Here it is.

marchigue carmWine:  2011 Marchigue Carmenere Gran Reserva

Winery Location:  Colchagua Valley, Chile

Tasted By:   Neil, Cheri and Alex           Date:   March 2014

Tasting Notes:     – this is a dark wine, and it is really extracted with  aromas of cooked fruit.  It seemed almost overripe to me, with almost syrupy flavors if not body.  I thought it improved with time in the glass.  The flavor profile is quite different and the wine is very long.  This is cold macerated, fermented for two weeks and then spends another three weeks on the skins, which accounts for the high extraction level.  After pressing it sees 12 months in French oak on the lees.  Not your average everyday red here.

Price Point –   about $10-$12

Would We Buy It?   – while it was interesting, we’re not great fans of the over the top extraction this wine exhibits.  With the extended time in contact with the skins and then lees aging this is different.  It’s almost like an Amarone, but not with the same flavor profile.  We like Amarone, while this we’re not so sure about.  I don’t think we’d buy more, but we do like some Carmenere so don’t let this review sour you on the varietal.  Alex liked this wine, and you may too.

A votre sante!

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