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Monday, October 25, 2010

Go green with a few greenbacks, the Eco Balance Carmenere 2009

If harmony with nature and a commitment to the integrity of the natural environment is part of your decision making processes in purchasing coffee and reflected in your choice of produce, then an introduction to Eco Balance wines is needed as well.
These are a new range of wines from Emiliana and they are all about harmony and balance and approachability. Which is exactly what I experienced with this wine and surprising because the moment I see it's an inexpensive wine, I'm thinking, "oh-boy" here comes disappointment city, but with their Carmenere nothing could be further from the truth of my initial impression that a glass of mediocrity was coming my way.

As an added bonus, all of their wines are produced from 100 percent sustainably farmed grapes in hand-selected vineyards located throughout the major regions of Chile. Their motto on each bottle, Enjoy life to the fullest, Care for the world around you, Open and share with family and friends, I am so down for that and take a look at their website, luv the intro to Emiliana, too bad I couldn't import one of videos here.

Carmenère: A word about this unique grape which is difficult to grow and even more difficult to make into wonderfully approachable wine such as the one I'm introducing you to here, first it is one of a small group of grapes which thrives in its newly adopted home in the New World.  This grape has truly struggled to gain wide acceptance in its homeland, although it's still used on occasion in France's Bordeaux region where it adds color and complexity. What are some of the telltale signs that you have Carmenere in your glass, just take a sniff or two and you will be enveloped [emphasis added] in its distinctive mélange [not a spice from the movie Dune] of smokiness, herbal potpourri, gamey and peppery notes. In its newly adopted home in South America, particularly Chile, it ripens fully and the wines take on added layers of dark berry fruit that gives it a balance rarely achieved in France and perhaps this highlights the reasoning behind its limited use in Bordeaux. When it comes to this grape, Carmenere and even Malbec, they do seem to be more at home in the New World, than clonal cousins in the Old World of winemaking in France.

Wine Reviewed: The Eco Carmenère is a wonderfully balanced blend of 85 percent Carmenère and 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with the grapes sourced from vineyards in the Colchagua Valley, where it's stainless steel fermented and barrel [50%] aged for just six months in oak.

Swirl: After I uncorked this sample and poured into my glass immediately from the bottle without decanting or other fooling around and poured myself a glass I was impressed with the intense ruby-red core.

Sniff: Giving the wine a few good swirls, immediately wafting [not poetic license either] effortlessly from the glass was a wide variety of aromas of strawberries, cherries, and spices such as black pepper with a touch of coffee and smoke from the oak.

Slurp: A very approachable wine from the word go, a smooth palate showing off medium plus flavor intensity, unbelievably [because of the price] elegant, velvety tannins that result in a pleasing, well-balanced wine with a sumptuous finish and spicy notes which I really enjoyed.

From: Chiles, Valle Central region in Rapel and nestled in the Chochagua Valley AVA.

Price Point: Selling for anywhere between $9 and $14, but word on the street has it this wine normally retails for the $9 price point. Folks, I don't have to tell you, but I feel compelled none the less, this wine is a QPR champ. So much wine for such a tiny price and Eco friendly to boot, you gotta love that.

Where to Purchase: Well I couldn't find a place to purchase the wine except one place online, but if you wanna go brick and mortar my best guess is that you could being seeing this wine very soon at your local Bev-mo as they do carry one of their higher end red wine blends.

Full Disclosure: Yes this wine was one of four samples of this label that was sent for the wine review process. The others will be reviewed later.

Hold the Presses: Last night I opened the their 2009 ECO Cabernet Sauvignon, and paired it against a wonderfully prepared meal of Marinated Skirt Steak, Thyme inspired Yams and tenderized [steamed] Broccoli crowns. This wine at first blush was a little tighter than I expected, thus I employed the Centellino Wine Decanter and boy, oh boy, this wine opened up marvelously for a $10 bottle. A feisty, fruity little Cab, that fills the mouth with all the usual suspects, juicy raspberry, cherry a bit of chocolate and some tarriness. Very approachable, while not being subtle at all about its intent to please the NW palate. Great with or with out food, a rich red wine suitable for drinking now, but can hang around the house a bit with no problems if you happen to grab a half dozen or so and here is my score 89 points, go get some.

The Score: Yes this wine rocked this price point, it jumped right up out of the bottle and said drink me! A drink now and drink often wine of which you should have a case of this wine sitting around your lair. This wine is seriously good, no joke. Complex and compelling for a very little price, I scored it 91 points and I'm issuing a "run, don't walk" recommendation fo-sure, so what are you waiting for get your happy lil' A$$ down their and please tell them you saw it here first. Until next sip long and prosper, cheers!


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