Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Primus Tasting Notes

Sorry for the delay in the tasting notes, but I wanted to get the previous Reader Request Tasting done first.

Last Sunday we drank a wine we had never had before, based on my challenge to you, eager readers and future Oenophiles, to drink something you have never had before and forward us your results and comments. I'm still waiting!

Here's our notes and info on a very interesting wine, Veramonte Primus. The wine is a blend of 36% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Carmenere produced in the Casablanca Valley appellation in Chile. The wine boasts 14.5% alcohol and 16,500 cases were produced.

There has been much discussed about the wines from Chile, South America. The wines are big and bold and many varietals from Bordeaux are presently being grown in the Casablanca Valley as well as other regions such as Maipo Valley, Colchagua and Cachapol Valley among more than 8 other diverse appellation districts. Red wine is king (76% 0f planted hectacres) in Chile, and Cabernet is king of the reds there. However, there is a significant percentage of Carmenere grape planted in Chile. Carmenere is sometimes called the "Lost Bordeaux" grape because it is rarely found in France's Bordeaux region, even though it is one of the six noble grape varietals that make up the Bordeaux family of grapes. Carmenere is also found in Italy in the eastern provinces and has a distinctly different taste than the Chilean version. The grape's juice is used as a blending grape, similar to how Petit Verdot is used in many bordeaux blend wines throughout the US and France.

The wine is a very deep dark color of reddish black that fills the glass with splashes of dark brooding. The wine was also extremely aromatic, with a distinct earthy nose, smelling of forest floor and peat. The nose also exhibited some menthol and spices and was extremely enticing even before the first sip. On the front palate, the dirt and spice were prevelent, leading to a plummy jam flavor with pine accents in the mid and rear palate. The finish was bold and bright, with more fruit than spice but a lingering of the terrior that was so forward when tasting the wine. We loved its complexity and the different flavors that the three varietals in similar ration brought to the wine. Definately not for every drinker, especially a new wine lover who might not know to wait for the development of the flavors. We look forward to introducing this wine to some adventurous drinkers to see if they see the varied and interesting layers in this wine.

Veramonte Primus, Product of Chile: $16 retail

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