Submitted by Jean – January 2012
Falernia Carmenere Syrah 2007 Reserva had a deep red color. It was sweet on the nose, very fruit forward. Since it was a blend of Carmenere and Syrah, this was not really expected. We tasted the wine first, before dinner. The taste was rich with fruit, soft tannins.
I chose this wine because it is Carmenere, the signature red wine of Chili. As we know, Carmenere was a common Bordeaux variety. Wiped out in Europe with phylloxera, it remained untouched in the very unique geographic landscape of Chili. It is believed that the highly protected geography of Chili, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Andes on the other, allowed the varietal to flourish. Chile is one of few places on earth that escaped the phylloxera devastation. Chili occupies a strip of land 2700 miles long and 100 miles wide on the west coast of South America. One of the developing areas is to the North, the Elqui Valley in Coquimbo, northern Chile. Its climate is similar to Baja, California.
The winemaker is Giorgio Flessati. An Italian native, he makes wines in Italy and Russia as well. It is no surprise that “one third of the 60% Carmenère Is ‘Amarone’ style from grapes dried on the vine until June.” As mentioned, it had a sweetness, was smooth, and fresh. Research indicates Robert Parker gave this wine an 88.
We paired this win with Asian Lettuce Wraps. We incorporated pork loin with soy and hoisin sauces, garlic, ginger, green onions and water chestuts. Wrapped in butter lettuce, accompanied by a side of white rice, the food paired extremely well with the wine. The food was light, the wine did not dominate, but complimented the Asian flavors. We did comment that this wine would have stood up to a more substantially rich ribeye.
Recommended as a good value, food friendly wine.