Saturday, 19 September 2009

Bring on the Clones

Carmenère is the grape that may well have originated in the Médoc. After the phylloxera outbreak the 1880s it was not replanted. Chile however had been supplied with vines earlier in the century and had no phylloxera problem (indeed still doesn't) and is now the home of far and away the largest quantities of Carmenère vines, such that it is now considered a (so called) signature variety for the country. Even so it is remarkable how it can add an attracrive depth to a Cabernet Sauvignon as in the Terra Mater version. Perhaps this should be unsurprising in view of its Médoc heritage!
With a view to improve quality - some single variety Carmenères can be a bit 'grassy' or 'herbaceous' the Chilean government is funding the University of Talca to try and discover the best clone. But again the attitude is very wise "We don't want to completely lose the green or peppery character, otherwise it won't be Carmenere" says the university. Hear, hear - a clone but not cloned!

No comments:

Post a Comment