jamie goode's wine blog: Vina Casa Silva's 'microterroir' Carmenere

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Vina Casa Silva's 'microterroir' Carmenere

I've grown to really like Carmenere, that uniquely Chilean variety that began life in Bordeaux, but now is all but extinct except in its adopted country. Here's a really good one from Vina Casa Silva, whose microterroir project I have just written up.

Viña Casa Silva Microterroir de los Lingues Carmenère 2005 Colchagua, Chile
14.5% alcohol. Deep coloured and dense, this has a classic Carmenère nose of brooding, sweet red fruit pastille and blackberry fruit with a spicy, chalky dimension. The palate is concentrated, smooth and quite lush with an appealing, smooth grainy tannic structure. Like many serious Carmenères it is very ripe and full, but is far from jammy, with grainy, chalky, spicy notes keeping the fruit really well defined. There’s a hint of dark chocolate, too, but the emphasis here is really on the bold fruit. 92/100 (UK retail c. £25)

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At 4:03 AM, Blogger Claude Vaillancourt said...

Very interesting, but I still wonder what is the impact of non grafted, pure vinifera vines in Chilean viticulture. What would be the impact of grafting on hybrid rootstocks, like in the rest of the world? I wrote to a Chilean winemaker about that who replied to me that the vigor of grafted Syrah on hybrid rootstocks was very different from the non grafted Syrah grown side by side on the same soil. If vigor is not the same. This is a clear indication that the plant is not behaving the same way. I would really like to know what is the impact of non grafted vines on the final wine.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Nick Oakley said...

Of course you can always match the vigour of a selected rootstock to the vigour of the ungrafted vine. Then it would be interesting to compare quality outcomes. Has this winemaker chosen a rootstock of higher vigour deliberately, and if so, why?

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Claude Vaillancourt said...

I don't know what was the rootstock and why it was chosen. But it is clear to me that viticulture with pure vinifera ungrafted vines is more challenging, because the vine comes as a whole. There is less flexibility to match the rootstock to the nature of the soil. So studies like the one at Casa Silva are really important.


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