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Wine Blogging Wednesday #7
Mar 12th, 2005

Wine Blogging Wednesday is an online event sponsored by rotating blog hosts about once a month or so. The idea is that the blog host proposes a theme and anyone who wants to take part posts their results on the predetermined Wednesday either on their own blog, or in an email if they don't have one. Then the host posts a roundup of the whole event.

The theme for this WBW was Obscure Red Grape Varieties and the idea was to go beyond the Merlots, Syrahs, and Pinots and review a wine made from grapes that are rare, at least in your country. The wine I picked was a 2002 Santa Rita Reserve Carmenere from Chile.

Carmenere grapes are originally from the Bordeaux region of France. They were transplanted to Chile in the mid 1800's. Eventually they were pretty much wiped out in France due to this sap sucking mite called phylloxera. The vines in Chile survived, but they were interplanted with Merlot grapes and over time people pretty much forgot that they were a different grapes and just started calling them all Merlot. Recently the Carmenere grapes were rediscovered and Chilean wineries have started marketing single variety Carmenere wines.

The bottle I got goes for around $10 and is made of 92% Carmenere and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It does taste a lot like Merlot, but with a different finish. Jim said the end taste reminded him of Hawaii, and the winery notes mentioned sweet overtones of vanilla, clove and coconut. It has a big full taste, peppery in the middle with a hint of sweetness at the end. I liked this wine quite a bit, especially for the price. It went well with food and tasted good on its own. The winery suggests pairing it with red meats and cheese.

Santa Rita Winery

Info about the Carmenere grape

Wine Blogging Wednesday #7 Wrapup


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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com