Sunday, October 31, 2010

Organic Wines of Chile

In March of this year I reviewed a few Carmenere wines from Chile and although they were not that bad, they still were not wines I personally would order when dining out or even buy as an everyday table wine. That left me still searching for some Chilean wines to add to my growing list of favorites. Now, thanks to Banfi Vintners, I have added three very nice red wines from Emiliana Vineyards of Valle del Maipo, Chile.
 *Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks at Banfi Vintners.
A few weeks ago I received three red wines, an Eco-Balance Carmenere, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The first opened was the Carmenere, a blend of 85% Carmenere and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.  It was time to try again as my daughter Pam just used the last of my Banfi Chianti Reserva to make a special tomato sauce for our Sunday evening dinner.  The sauce is made from the residue of tomatoes used to make paste.  Shirley just canned about 12 containers of tomato paste which leaves enough for a few gallons of tomato juice and a pot full of juicy pulp for a sauce.  Pam's main additional ingredient is marjoram.  She also added meatballs made from ground turkey and Italian meatballs made from beef, pork and veal.  I opened the Carmenere for just an afternoon sip, but after a few swallows I knew I'd keep this one on the table for dinner.
Aromas of cherry and plum with hints of chocolate and not as smokey as the earlier reviewed Carmeneres were pleasant.  The Eco-Balance was smoother, well balanced and finished long with a little pepper. It was amazingly great with the sauce and the Italian meatballs.  This Carmenere was a hit and now a new favorite on my list.
A few nights later with a meal of pork chops, whipped potatoes and sauerkraut I opened the Merlot, a blend of 89% Merlot and 11% Syrah.  Again the aromas were very nice.  Lots of berry aromas with some clove or green pepper and a hint of vanilla leading to a smooth flavor filled taste and a very long smooth finish.  Excellent pairing with the pork, but not so much with the kraut, but then again I have yet to find any wine I like with kraut. I also had some left that I poured the next night after work and found it to be fantastic.  Definitely the best Chilean wine I have had to date.
Finally, this week, after work, I opened the Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah.  This was not opened for any food, but just to enjoy as I wind down from a day at work.  I did have a bowl of 'fat free' chocolate ice cream along with the wine which was a nice match.
The aromas were very typical Cab/Sauv dark fruit, plum, some pepper and clove with a touch oak.  It was a good wine at a good price ($9), but not comparable to what I found in California or French Cab/Sauv's. Still it was a nice wine for sipping and I would not be against trying with a beef roast or a beef stew.

Eco-Balance is a collection of high quality, sustainably farmed wines created for relaxed everyday enjoyment.
Healthy grapes, beautiful vineyards teeming with life, thoughtful packaging and an earth-friendly ethos are the source of inspiration behind Eco-Balance from Emilian, the worlds single largest source of estate grown organic wines. All Eco-Balance wines originate in sustainably farmed vineyards in transition to full organic status. Synthetic pesticides and herbicides are shunned in favor of natural remedies that inspire life and biodiversity.
Eco-Balance wines are available in major metropolitan markets throughout the U.S. and are projected to retail for an affordable $9 a bottle.


1winedude said...

Cool - haven't tried these yet but will hopefully pop open these samples soon.

What's your take on the pyrazine/green-pepper action? Is it prominent in these wines? Seems to be in check based on your review?


joeshico said...

Wow Joe, you got me stumped on that descriptor. If I assume what you mean then that may be what was turning me off of Chilean wines before, a musty or mold like taste, somewhat like I get in some NY and PA reds. If that is so, then you might say these were in check. If I am wrong in my assumption, I'll have to do some research on the "pyrazine/green pepper action.
WTH is Pyrazine?

home bar said...

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Brent The Avg Wine Guy said...

Thanks for the review - we have also completed video reviews of the Eco-Balance Wines. First one, Cabernet Sauvignon | Syrah, just posted on our site: