I enjoyed two interesting wines with guests Saturday that often scare me off. Most Califorinia (not all) white blends are often too rich, and a tad to softn (sometimes sweet) for my palate. The other was a Chilean Carmenere. I’ve certainly tasted many Carmenere wines but most were a little rough around the edges.
These two wines may change my mind about pre-conceived notions!
For my palate, it was pretty juicy wine but also dry and earthy. Good minerality and tannins. It definitely had a pepper finish that made it work well with a char-grilled ribeye. Too many Chilean wines have that ‘green taste” … green peppers if you will, and I’m not a fan.
Carmen 2010 Gran Reserva Carmenere, around $15 – trade sample, Highly Recommended.
Many of the California white blends I’ve had lately seemed out of what with 3-5-7 white grapes. Franciscan sticks with primarily Sauv Blanc, then throws in a little Chardonnay and Muscat to soften and round the rough spots. It works!
There is easy-to-spot white peach and great balance. This would be a wonderful match for those who enjoy spicy foods. I actually served it with a peach and mozzarella summer salad and it was spectacular.
Franciscan 2012 Equilibrium, SRP $23, trade sample, Highly Recommended.