Chilean wine worth savoring

DaVinci's and Marco Prime at Marco Walk

Today we continue our journey to sample the New World wines, and from beautiful Argentina last time, we head for neighboring wine country, Chile.

Chile has a long history as a New World wine region, and dates back to the 16h Century when Spanish conquistadors brought vines with them as they colonized the region.

Local legend states that the conquistador Francisco de Aguirre himself planted the first vines. The vines most likely came from established Spanish vineyards planted in Peru which included the "common black grape", as it was known, that Hernán Cortés brought to Mexico in 1520.

This grape variety would become the ancestor of the widely-planted Pais grape that would be the most widely planted Chilean grape till the 21st Century.

The Chile climate is classified as Mediterranean and perfect for growing wines, and is varied with the northern regions being very hot and dry compared to the cooler, wetter regions in the south.

The proximity to the Dry Andes helps create a wide diurnal temperature variation between day and nighttime temperatures. This cool drop in temperature is vital in maintaining the grapes' acidity levels.

The wine I would like to talk a little more about is TerraNoble Carmenere from Maule Valley, the biggest and oldest wine producing region in Chile.

Maule Valley is located at the foot of Andes mountains in the Southern part of Central Valley, and is famous for its powerful Cabernets and aromatic and spicy Carmenere.

Maule Valley has a poor soil combined with earth, unsettled rocks, which are in turn rich in minerals, giving a special, well balanced mineral flavor. TerraNoble Vineyards was founded in 1993 by Jorge Elgueta. The TerraNoble Winery's philosophy is to produce modern, high-quality wines with style and elegance that exemplify the unique characteristics of each varietal.

The Carmenere Gran Reserva offers you a wine with a very intense and deep red-blue color. It has strong fig and ripe fruit aromas mixed with coffee, toasty and spicy notes. In savoring, you find a strong structure and full-body style, with an interesting combination of oak. It is a very smooth, harmonious, silky and pleasant wine.

The wine is great with osso bucco and roasted meats like short ribs or lamb.

Buon apettito and salute.

Adamo Serravlle is co-owner of DaVinci's and Marco Prime at Marco Walk, and is a wine connoisseur. Along with Laura Owen of CJ's on the Bay and Marco Port of chop239, he is a regular contributor to this column.