Friday, February 10, 2012

Updated review: *** $$ Carma Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 2008 - Wine Tasting & Review

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By way of background: Carma Carmenere is from the Palmilla area of Colchagua Valley, Chile, and is built of grapes harvested from decade-old vines. The youthful 2008 vintage is finished at 14% alcohol.

Original Tasting and Review, February, 2010:

In the glass: Carma Carmenere shows as deep purple in the glass, opaque to within a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with no decant and swirled vigorously, this carmenere shows its purpleness with a potent plum fruit and oak nose.

On the palate: The first element on the palate is a smooth, sleek, mid-tongue coating of soft fruit, lifted by ripe plum and blackberry notes.  A bit of darker cigarette smoke comes along as the sip trails into your cheeks.  

And the wrap-up: The finish is built of fairly simple fruit and alcohol, hanging in for a few moments, then generating a bit of cloying sugar.  

In summary: Overall, a pleasant though bit disjointed experience. Rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for the potential that some of its potent elements will knit together better with time in air or bottle.

Following a two-day decant under vacuum in a partially-opened bottle:  This has pulled together in a productive way with a substantial decant.  The "cigarette smoke" undertone has become a straightforward and helpful charcoal background to the fruit.  Not QUITE compelling enough to chase another bottle down, and thus yield three stars, but improved.

Updated review, two years later, February, 2012:   Intensely bold purple plums on the nose - perhaps the "plumiest" nose I've ever experienced!  Bold fruit middle on the palate, with a touch of bitter blackness following the fruit.  Clean finish now, though still fast.  Following decant, two hours:  Still a bold plum nose. The palate has smoothed out, darkness integrating with the fruit as a rich tone.  Three stars now.  I highly recommend the air time!

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