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.
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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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