Week 2 - Petirrojo Reserva Carménère 2013
Welcome to the second week of Weekly Weird & Wonderful Wines.
This week we have a pretty little number from Chile, bringing us an almost forgotten variety, once a mainstay in the world-famous vineyards of Bordeaux.
Presenting this week's wine:
Bisquertt Petirrojo Reserva Carménère 2013
Category: Back from the dead
Wine Makeup: 100% Carménère
Origins: The history of Carménère is a fascinating tale of a grape that disappeared from it's homeland due to disease and near-fatal outbreaks of the vine louse Phylloxera.
This wine variety has it's origin in the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux in France, and was widely planted and used in red blends there until 1867 when the Phylloxera plague wiped out large swathes of Europe's vineyards.
After this period, all attempts to re-establish the variety failed to achieve positive results, and Carménère was presumed to have gone extinct.
More recently, the grape was re-discovered in Chile, where it had been introduced in the decades prior to the Phylloxera outbreak, and had frequently been confused with Merlot.
Region: This particular Carménère is coming from the Colchagua Valley, a region where the variety was introduced during the 1850's.
Colchagua is one of the major viticultural areas in Chile, located South of the capital Santiago.
Producer: Viñas Bisquertt is one of the modern pioneers of the Colchagua Valley and helped put Chile, as well as Carménère, on the map. They planted their first vineyards in the region back in 1965.
Tasting this wine is a subtle treat for the senses, with the old world nuances of a Bordeaux variety, blending seamlessly with the bright, bursting enthusiasm of new world character.
A soft, red hue, that is pleasing to the eye and does not betray what turns out to be a medium body hidden away.
Aromas of ground paprika and lively raspberry are soon followed by a twist of cloves.
Soft, sweet tannins giving plenty of room for growth, and while only aged in oak for around 6 months, still contains complexity and an elegant length.
As a side note, the name of the wine "Petirrojo" is named for the small native birds that frequent the estate vineyards in Colchagua Valley.
Learn more about this wine at Viñas Bisquertt