Santa Ema 2005 Carmenère

This is a Santa Ema 2005 Carmenere barrel select that I picked up for $10.99.

As you know, the Vinagoth has a thing for Chilean wines. They are good, cheap, and tasty. I actually first discovered them while living overseas (in Europe) for a short time in the mid-1990s. I had been a drinker of primarily California wines up to that point. California wines were hard to find, and/or expensive over there. However there was a VAST array of all these good wines from oddball countries I’d never tried; Bulgaria, Romania, South Africa, Argentina & Chile. Many of those oddballs have remained hard to find here in the USA, but not those Southern Cone Selects. Argentina & Chile are exporting plenty of good stuff to our shores now. I strongly suggest you give them a try.

Carmenère (using the Spanish accenting here since were talking Chilean) is one of those rare survivors. It was brought to Chile (under the mistaken impression of being Merlot) a few hundred years ago, and was subsequently destroyed by the phylloxera outbreak in France. It was thought to be extinct, until rediscovered growing in large tracts in Chile’s Central Valley. In a way it is like time travelling to open one of these bottles. I imagine 15 years from now you’ll be able to drink Carmenere from anywhere and everywhere, for now though it is mostly Chilean.

So where else would you be able to taste one of the Six Noble Grapes of Bordeaux, previously thought to be extinct, for about ten bucks?? I suggest you go out and hug a Chilean tonight!

We enjoyed this bottle with some scampi and pasta last night. It is inky dark red, but is light on the palate, not a powerful ballsy red. In one of those cases where food & wine mis-match, both Mrs. Barbarian & I agreed (for once!) that it would go far better with red meat. The bottle might also need to lie for a year or so. I’m not smart enough to know which is the answer… I’m just a barbarian after all.

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