JUST THE FACTS
Price: TBC (as of Nov 2018)
Winery: Paul Wallace Wines
Varietal: Red Blend
Wine Region: Elgin
Country: South Africa
Ponce Factor: Moderate. Waist-level ponce. But belt-height, not crotch-height.
Occasion: Dinner with a Frenchman.
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It would’ve been a bordeaux full house, if it weren’t for that pesky carmenere! #knowyourgrapes
👃🏼 – The merlot-fronted blend offers lovely clean red fruits upfront, with some depth provided by sweeter cassis elements.
👄 – Palate carries a glorious blend of red and black fruits, supported by tannins that are firmer than crossfitten butt-cheek. But this structure is completely appropriate given the level of fruit on offer.
📝 – 50% merlot, 22% cab franc, 17% cab sauv 11% malbec
Carmenere is Deadpool, is Hugh Grant, is Ibiza.
Like Hugh Grant in “About a boy”, Deadpool likes to pretend he’s an island. Nothing more than a solo-running anti-hero merc with a mouth. Certainly with no ties to the X-men! But a closer look reveals that, at his core, he is a mutant human, who uses his abilities to defend the weak, all the while hanging out with iron-skinned russians in wrestling spandex. So, yeah, an X-man.
As a grape, Carmenere is like Deadpool, who is like Hugh Grant in “About a Boy”. Who is like Ibiza.
These days, on the wine scene, Carmenere likes to rock hard on his own scene down in Chile (98% of the world’s carmenere vines are planted in Chile), but while he may be the third most-planted grape in the 9th biggest wine producing country in the world, that doesn’t change the fact that he is, by birth, the black sheep of the Bordeaux family of legally permitted winemaking grapes for France’s Bordeaux region.
Carmenere is a superbly inky fellow, who (historically) was originally called on to play the same role as Petit Verdot (to add deep colour and tannic texture to a classic BDX red blend), but after being a bit of a spare wheel, not mixing well at family reunions, and being particularly unpleasant when not harvested totally ripe (all green veg and ham), he fell out of favour with his upwardly mobile Bordeauxian cousins. But not to worry, because he found favour with the Chileans in the new world and (even though they mistook him for merlot for a couple of decades) he is the starring role in some of Chile’s most lauded red wines…
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.