It was my pleasure at December’s Savannah Songwriters Series to showcase two grapes originally synonymous with Bordeaux in France that have more recently become the signature grapes of Chile and Argentina in South America.
When a parasite called Pylloxera wiped out vineyards in Europe in the 18th century, Carmenere, which had once been a signature grape in the wines of Bordeaux, France, was really never resurrected as a focal grape in this historic region. However in 1993, many of the vines in Chile that were thought to be Merlot were tested and discovered to be none other than Carmenere, this lost grape of Bordeaux.
While Carmenere never seemed to acclimate to the shorter growing season of Europe, it found favor in the longer season and warmer climate of Chile, and has now become in many ways the signature red grape of Chile.
Like Carmenere, Malbec was and still is an integral part of the blend of wines in Bordeaux; however, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon still reign as the dominate part of these noble French wines. But just like Carmenere, Malbec flourishes in the longer, warmer growing season of South America and in turn has become the dominate red grape varietal in Argentina, no blending needed!
Our two selections this month were Cono Sur Carmenere and Los Cardos Malbec.
Both wines display the complexity of the Old World mixed the ripeness of fruit found in the New World, the best of both Worlds! And both retail for under $10, the best of all worlds!
Stan Ray-Viniferous Facilitator