Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pepper bomb (ugh!)


Casa Silva 2005 Carmenere from the Colchagua Valley.
I bought this from one of our competitors for $12 since we were out of Carmenere at our store (and I like Carmenere). We recently began to carry this (same price), so I thought I would give it a try.

On the nose... Black pepper and green bell peppers. If you haven't tried it before... Carmenere tastes similar to Cabernet Sauvignon (except not as tannic) and Merlot. Carmenere was one of the six grapes used in making Bordeaux by the French until the 1860s when phylloxera became rampant and affected the Carmenere vines quite badly. After that, Carmenere was cast out of France (many thought it to be extinct) and was exiled to Chile (where it was thought to be Merlot for over a century, until 1994 when DNA evidence proved otherwise). But just like Donna Summer sang, "I Will Survive!"... the grape is back and better than ever.

When it's done right...it's great.. you get focused cherry flavor, some smoke, and tons of mocha. When Carmenere is picked too early, you get the vegetal aspects... such as bell pepper. I tasted tons of black pepper, too, which just overwhelmed all the other fruit. Sad.

Oh well!


To make up for it, I tasted the 2005 Hiedler Gruner Veltliner "Thal" a lovely aromatic white from Austria with great body resembling gewurztraminer and riesling. Pineapple and peaches on the nose. Good stuff! :)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Veronica,

keep your eyes open for the vintage 2006, a century vintage in austria! Here is such a lovely photo from the Hiedler family.

http://www.wein-plus.de/oesterreich/Ludwig%2Bund%2BMaria%2BAngeles%2BHiedler_10050.html

Anonymous said...

P.S. Sorry, the link is not shown correctly.

http://www.wein-plus.
de/oesterreich/Ludwig%2
Bund%2BMaria%2BAngeles%2
BHiedler_10050.html

It looks like you have to make Copy&Paste

Martin
www.berlinkitchen.com

V said...

What an absolutely lovely picture. And they produce great wines. Thank you for the link Martin!

I had a chance to taste some 06 Gruner Veltliner a few months ago and they were incredible. Manfred Bauer the importer of Jurtschitsch told me it was going to be one of their greatest vintages since 1947. Very exciting!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the best vintage since 1947. Keep your eyes open for the TOP producer F.X. Pichler, Knoll, Hirtzberger etc.

BTW, the wineshop Winemonger in California has a nice selection of austrian reds, for example "Paradigma" from Preisinger and "Neckenmarkt Alte Reben" from Moric. And a great Chardonnay from Velich. Not cheap but great wines.

Martin
www.berlinkitchen.com

brekkie_fan said...

Hey V,

I'm searching for a nice Syrah for my boss as a Christmas gift. Was hoping you'd be at Hi Time this weekend to provide some recs. Lemme know ~ brekkie_fan@yahoo.com.

V said...

I would definitely do the ROAR by Gary Pisoni. Anything Pisoni does is pretty awesome. Here is our shelf talker on it...

ROAR 05 SY S.L.H.
Our Price: $39.95
ROAR 2005 SYRAH
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS 750ml
LIMIT 2 BOTTLES

ROBERT PARKER 94 POINTS
"The 2005 Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands is loaded with fabulous aromatics (coffee, blackberries, tar, spring flowers, and sweet oak). Full-bodied with admirable intensity, an opulent mouthfeel, and a heady, lush finish, it is a stunning Syrah to drink over the next 7-8 years." -The Wine Advocate issue #172

EVWG said...

Love the blog man. Thanks for the insightabout the merlot film. I am actually a litte curious to see how they pull it off. Maybe they will have all the merlot with glass stoppers and freak everyone out. Thanks for the commenton my blog. See you soon.

EvWg

EVWG said...

Oh and by the way I can totally sympathise with the carmenere fiasvo you had to endure. With the righ oak exposure they can be really pleasant. But more often than not right now alot of them are like you have described. If i might offer a recommendation, Chono carmenere 2005 is really nice and isthe only one I have in my shop. It has great oak exposure and keeps the greenis in check. Thisis also the producer that apparently found out that carmener was not merlot but...carmenere. If you find it and try it let me know what you think. These are going to be the affordable wine people want when the dollar gets so out of hand that EU wines are too expensive. Chees!

EvWg