Viña Chocalan Seleccion Carménère 2009, Maipo Valley Chile

Some great things jump out at you and other thrills cause anticipation. The Seleccion Carménère from Viña Chocalan is the latter. Not particularly fragrant, the taste starts to build slowly and before you know it you have an example of what Carménère is all about. Vegetable notes like green pepper with some chocolate and leather appear. The wine had a nice spicy finish which capped off the slow build up perfectly.

Maipo Valley home of the vineyards that produced this wine, and Chile for that matter, are capable of producing some great wines. Carménère, is a variety of grapes that is often considered indigenous to the long tall South American nation. The funny story is that until the mid nineties, the few grape farmers in Chile growing Carménère thought they were growing Cabernet Franc, until they discovered they were actually an obscure old-world grape Carménère. That started a phase of adapting wine making practices away from standard notions of Cabernet Franc styles and wines from Carménère have evolved since then. Wikipedia has some great information on Carménère, go check it out.

My musical match for this wine Holst’s Pluto from his epic Planets. A slow build leading to a dark fiery orchestral display. An interesting parallel between Pluto and the wine, is that after conventional scientific opinion deemed Pluto to be a planet, until it was proven not to be. These grapes were proven not be Cabernet Franc, putting these grapes and the ex-planet in the same boat. The two entitieis are in the “Formerly Believed to Be Club.” Pluto can take heart from Carménère’s success in opening a new chapter.

Leave a comment and me know what wine you would match with this music.


Part 2/5 in the BottleDJ Fall Classic Focus on Chile

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