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The 2006 Surazo Carmenère Reserva Especial is the progeny of one the decade’s finest vintages in Chile for Carmenère. It is deep ruby in color and imbued with an amplifying bouquet of freshly picked berries, bell pepper, and cedar. Moreover, on the palate one encounters an expansive center of smooth berry flavors infused with deft hints of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Happily, all of these flavors persist to the wine’s racy finish. In short, the 2006 Surazo Carmenère Reserva Especial recalls all that is beguiling and hauntingly beautiful about Carmenère – Chile’s emblematic red grape. For optimum enjoyment, we suggest allowing this medium-bodied, classically wrought Bordeaux style Carmenère at least twenty minutes or more of aeration before consuming at cool room temperature (62°-65° F).
Carmenère fans will find Surazo’s 2006 Reserva Especial delectable to drink on its own. However, this extroverted Carmenère is a versatile wine, so like most mature Bordeaux style wines it will truly shine at table. And best of all, one need not have a flair for haute cuisine to see this wine work its magic. A simple butter and herb roasted chicken, tender veal chop, or grilled sirloin steak is all this beautifully aged wine needs to elevate a meal to a feast. For those more adept at the culinary arts, we suggest a grilled loin of lamb served with herb and chèvre stuffed peaches and garlic and rosemary infused mashed potatoes. Sizzling chicken or steak fajitas sautéed with plenty of red and yellow peppers provide good company, too, but then so do spicy empanadas, flatbreads, pizzas, and something as simple as red pepper hummus with pita chips, so as you like it. Enjoy!
Surazo is made by Emilio de Solminihac at his beloved Santa Monica estate in Chile’s Rapel Valley. Emilio de Solminihac, more affectionately known as Don Emilio to a burgeoning legion of young Chilean winemakers, is the guardian of traditional winemaking in Chile and one of South America’s finest winemakers. He is also an affable gentleman who seems cut from a bygone age. Hailing from a wine making family, Don Emilio received his first training in wine as a young man while working in his grandfather’s vineyard and winery. Later he would graduate from the Universidad de Chile with a degree in agricultural engineering, and subsequently depart for France, where he would study at the Université de Bordeaux under the legendary Emile Peynaud – then France’s most renowned oenologist. While attending the Université de Bordeaux, Emilio earned that venerable institution’s esteemed degree in oenology, the first Chilean to do so. Today, Emilio de Solminihac is revered as much for his legacy of fine, age-worthy wines as he is for his numerous oenological innovations – many of which have helped to transform the Rapel Valley into the Napa Valley of Chile.
Today, Santa Monica reigns as an oasis of calm and simple elegance. Beyond its gates lay long rows of well-tended vines that doze between the towering Andes and the coastal mountain ranges. From these neat rows of vines that hold just about every grape imaginable, Don Emilio fashions a bevy of delicious wines. His highly acclaimed Gran Reserva and Private Reserve Tierra de Sol Cabernet Sauvignon offerings under the Santa Monica and De Solminihac labels and his Surazo Carmenère constitute the signature wines at Santa Monica. In them, one can taste and see Don Emilio’s passion for making traditional Bordeaux style offerings, with a personal touch. These are complex, age-worthy wines that are as endearing as they are enduring.
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