Casa Silva Los Lingues Gran Reserva Carmenere 2009

Before I talk about this particular wine, I thought I would share a little history about the grape that it’s made from…

Carmenere is an old Bordeaux variety from the Cabernet family and was until rather recently thought to be extinct. However, in 1994 through the miracle of science, it was found thriving in Chile alongside the rather similar Merlot (the two were often picked and processed together). Today little exists in France and is grown in small amounts in Italy but in it’s adopted home of Chile, that this full bodied red grape has truly come into its own.

I interviewed Mario Pablo Silva (the head of Vina Casa Silva) some years ago but sadly due to circumstances beyond my control the video never saw the light of day. I hope this review goes some way to atoning for that.

This Casa Silva single vineyard Carmenere comes from the Colchagua Valley and more specifically the Los Lingues plots.

Here’s my tasting notes:

To the eye it’s a rich textured crimson (Carmenere gets its name from carmin, the French word for crimson). With the nose of tobacco, green pepper, mocha, cassis and wild mushroom you can see why it was mistaken for Merlot (Chile) and Cabernet Franc (Italy). At 14% AVB you might expect a shot in the mouth but it’s velvety and sensual with notes of smoky charcoal, black fruit, menthol and white pepper.

An excellent example of how very special that lost and found Carmenere can be in the right hands.

Score – 8.25/10

Food matches – We had it with BBQ ribs and salads in the garden and it was sen-bloody-sational.