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Viu Manent Secreto Carménère 2006

by Nannette Eaton on April 24, 2009

“Over the wine-dark sea.” –  Homer, The Iliad

Viu Manent Secreto Carménère 2006

Don’t be afraid of the dark.  Viu Manent Secreto Carménère 2006 is an earthy and elemental wine; I encourage you to try this one if you are unfamiliar with the grape varietal carménère.

The origin of carménère grape is from the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France.  Carménère is one of the original six noble grapes of Bordeaux, although it is no longer commonly grown in France, because of its near extinction due to the phylloxera blight of the 1860’s.  Vine cuttings had been sent to Chile prior to the onset of the phylloxera, barely existing for the next century, oftentimes mistaken for the merlot vine.  In the past twenty years, Chile has embraced carménère as the national grape, in the same manner as Californian’s have with zinfandel.  Based on my experience with this wine, the Chilean facination with carménère is well-founded.

The color of the Viu Manent Secreto Carménère is an enchanting inky plum, with legs that go on for days.   The color and body are mesmerizing.  However, my reverie quickly ended.  The first sniff and taste of this wine was unpleasant.  It was like drinking a glass of hot funk, and this Wine Harlot was not amused.  Checking back thirty minutes later however, it was a totally different wine.  It had a sweet aroma, with a complex raisin, blackberry nectar with a tar component.  The finish was long and velvety.  On the second day, the wine was excellent.  The heat that I felt on day one was gone, it morphed into a lush glass of pure contentment.

The alcohol is 14.8%.  The varietal is Carménère 85% with 15% undisclosed varieties, grown in the Colchagua Valley in Chile.  The importer is Wine Symphony.  This was a wine sample kindly provided by the Wines of Chile.  The suggested retail is $14 USD.

The Viu Manent website suggests the following food pairings, “Sensational with lightly seared red meats prepared with floral herbs such as sage and basil. Also excellent with grilled eggplant and mushrooms, roasted game birds and creamy blue cheeses such as Roquefort and Gorgonzola.”

The music paring is “Black Sheep” by the Sneaker Pimps from the album Bloodsport.