Suburban Wino 2: The Wordpress Experiment

Bringin’ the Funk for Chile | March 5, 2010

Earthquakes are a bunch of crap.

You messed with Port-Au-Prince. Destroyed Haiti. I suppose that what the Haitians get for selling their souls to the devil. Pat Robertson said it. It must be true…
…[giant fart noise emits from my mouth]
The world is getting through Haiti. The recovery has begun. At least no grapevines were damaged. Then, February 27th rolls around, and Chile- a major wine producing country- gets smacked. Okay, you can mess with the Caribbean, earthquakes. My roots are from Ireland and Northern Germany. I get sunburnt by spray-on tan. Beaches and equatorial sunshine jive with me like hippies and techno music or hippies and Axe body spray or hippies and any sort of cleansing/deodorant products. C’mon, hippies. Once a week. A bar of soap. That’s all I ask.
But, you start messin’ with wine regions, and we’re coming to fisticuffs (an Irishman fighting over booze…I can’t imagine why stereotypes exist). So, as I sincerely (again) reflect on the loss of life in an earthquake-ravaged nation, I’ve decided to pour out some vino for my homies in the 011 + 56 (they don’t have three-digit area codes down there…work with me, folks).

Bringing the funk tonight was the the 2007 Montes Alpha Colchagua Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chilean wine game was built in large part by the French, especially the Bordelais, so Bordeaux varieties are the name of the game: Merlot, Carménère (no longer grown in Bordeaux, but formerly a big player there), Sauvignon Blanc, and of course Cabernet Sauvignon.
Now, when I say “bringing the funk” on this wine, I’m not exaggerating at all, or using clever street-talk for comedic purposes. I mean to say that this wine smelled like poop. Big time. Some wine writers with more eloquent pens than I would describe such a smell as “barnyard”. Well, I think the word “poop” is funny, so I’m going with it. Oddly, this is not generally regarded as a negative aroma in many red wines. See, when you smell poop (hee hee hee) in a wine, it’s often an earthy smell, and such suggests a great expression of terroir, or “sense of place” to the French. That being said, when thrown at your nostrils in huge doses, it can be a little off-putting to the novice.
Luckily, if you stick with a poopy/funky wine, things usually develop. I always try to see it as a sign of complexity and a promise of great things to come. In the instance of the Montes Alpha, poop turned into really intense aromas of charcoal, burnt toast, but, more than anything, really high-quality dark roast coffee beans. The coffee further developed into dark chocolate, smoke, and- finally- some nice, subtle dark fruit scents: black currant (just a tell-tale in Cab Sauv) and plum.
In the mouth, this one brought big tannins, decent acidity, and a solid wallop of alcoholic heat…at 14.5%, that was to be expected. I found it a little big to drink by itself. I would like it with red meat. At this point, though, I would like anything with red meat. I’d drink Yoo-Hoo with the chance of red meat, and I’m pretty sure Yoo-Hoo is the stuff they squeegie out of the gutters on Bourbon Street the morning after Fat Tuesday.
All in all, and interesting Cab. This one is worth checking out, if only for the nose. While I’m yet to be wowed by anything from Chile, I keep hearing good things, and the experimentation is half of the fun. Besides, it never hurts to support some folks when they’re down. I’m sure the Chilean winemakers and citizens- as they pick up the pieces- appreciate the help.


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