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Not your (Chilean) grandfather’s Carménère

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IGT Veneto 2010, Carménère, Più, Inama ($20.95, 11389074)
Carménère (70%) and Merlot (30%) from vines between ten and 42 years of age. Manually harvested and fully destemmed. Fermented close to two weeks, then racked into new tanks for malolactic fermentation, all in stainless steel tanks. Matured in second-fill 225-litre French oak barrels for 12 months, then racked, filtered and bottled. Unfined. 14% ABV.
Black raspberry, plum, graphite and a whiff of vanilla and menthol, evolving toward gingerbread and tomato. Medium-bodied. Dry. Starts out all sweet fruit and spice but, from the mid-palate on, the dominating factor is a surging current of, well, what? At first I pegged it as bitterness – bitterness approaching the level of an amaro digestif like Fernet-Branca – but as the wine breathed I began leaning toward astringency. Let’s compromise on bitter astringency and note that it lingers long after the rest of finish has disappeared. Structure-wise the wine is supple, with enough acidity and some light, raspy tannins that seem distinct from the astringency. Unusual (though the tail end of the bottle seemed less unconventional the next day) and certainly one of the more interesting Carménères I’ve encountered, light years ahead of most of its Chilean counterparts. That said, this won’t be to everybody’s taste. Also, it’s not a wine to sip on its own. The winemaker’s suggestion of grilled pork as a pairing seems spot on. Or how about bollito misto? (Buy again? Maybe.)

Written by carswell

March 2, 2014 at 10:17

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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