Casa Silva’s 2008 Reserva Carmenère is just one more feather in the cap of master winemaker Mario Geise, who has been rightly dubbed the “King of Carmenère.” A deep purple with ruby highlights, this latest release from Casa Silva is a feast for the nose as well as the palate. From the moment this well-mannered Carmenère is poured it offers up a plethora of deep woodsy scents, blackberry and raspberry fruit, graphite, leather, and spice, which merely serve to prepare the palate for the pleasure to follow. In the mouth, herbal, woodsy flavors mingle with plenty of ripe, polished fruit to add complexity and intrigue – the very calling cards of the finest Carmenère. All the while, the essences of woodland berries mingle with fine grained notes of coffee and dark chocolate. And to make matters even more attractive, all this goodness lay wrapped in a blanket of soft tannins. Layered, textured, and immediately appealing, the 2008 Casa Silva Reserva Carmenère combines the flamboyancy and extraverted nature of Carmenère with the panache and polish of a good Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux. Is there any wonder why Carmenère remains Chile’s finest grape variety and Mario Geise its supreme commander? Enjoy this expressive red at cool room temperature (62º-66º F), with our without extensive aeration.
Carmenère truly shines at the table. Although the 2008 Casa Silva Reserva Carmenère is one of the most ebullient and easy to drink young Carmenère wines we have tasted in a while, it excels in the company of most meats, spicy vegetable dishes, and ordinarily difficult to match foods such as asparagus, artichokes, and hummus. Carmenère aficionados may still prefer Casa Silva’s Carmenère unadorned, whereby one has the full effect of the subtle nuances of scent and savor that Carmenère has to offer. Nonetheless, wine is food, and well-chosen companions only complement and enhance a meal. With this in mind, we suggest pairing the 2008 Casa Silva Reserva Carmenère with such classics as Duck à l’Orange or Grilled Loin Lamb Chops. Marinated steaks and Spit Roasted Quail pair beautifully, too. In other words, treat this wine like first-rate red Bordeaux or Rioja. In another vein, Mediterranean fare such as Pork Shoulder with lentils, Paella, or a thin crusted Three Cheese and Mushroom Pizza more than does justice to the Casa Silva Carmenère, which highlights just how versatile good Carmenère can be. And if all else should fail, we suggest you cut some slices of first-rate cheese, invite a friend over, and open a bottle of “The King of Carmenère’s” latest marvel, and then just revel in its royal presence. Enjoy!
Editor’s Note: Just prior to the printing of this newsletter, Wine and Spirits named Casa Silva as Chile’s Winery of the Year. This is yet another well-deserved accolade for this prestigious winery and further testimony to the Silva family’s dedication to quality and winemaker Mario Geise’s unabashed ability to push the envelope. Congratulations! Casa Silva continues to astound with the quality as well as the variety of the wines it produces. Indeed, this is a clean, modern, well run winery that is not afraid to ratchet up the quality with each successive vintage. Undoubtedly, Casa Silva is one of just a handfull of South America’s very finest wine estates. Located some two hundred kilometers south of Santiago, in the heart of Colchagua, an area many are now calling Chile’s Napa Valley, Casa Silva has garnered more recognition and awards at international wine competitions than any other Chilean winery. Furthermore, Catad’Or Hyatt, Chile’s most prestigious wine competition, has named Casa Silva “the Best Chilean Producer” three consecutive times. And that’s not all, the International Wine & Spirit Competition recently named Casa Silva as “The best South American Producer.” Kudos to the Silva family, father Mario and sons Mario Pablo, Gonzalo, and Francisco. Along with Mario Geise, the winery’s outstanding consulting enologist, they have taken this beautiful property that sits at the base of the Andes to lofty heights in little more than a dozen years. Surprisingly, Casa Silva’s present inception dates back to only 1997, the year this property began bottling premium wines under its own name. However, historical accounts tell us that the Silva family’s predecessors were pioneers in Colchagua more than a century ago, when the Silvas brought the first grape varieties from France to their Angostura estate, which still occupies the lower slopes of the Cordillera of the Andes that tower above the estate. Today, the Silvas remain pioneers: they are Colchagua’s foremost experts on Carmenère, Chile’s emblematic red grape variety, and they produce the finest Sauvignon Gris and Viognier in South America. Moreover, this great property is at the vanguard of South America’s success with other traditional Bordeaux grape varieties, most notably Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon. Can there be any doubt as to why the wines of Casa Silva are the most highly acclaimed in South America?
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