Before we look at the wine we took a look at the vineyard history, the region and the people behind it. Ventisquero began making wine in 2000. Unlike other wineries in the area they are led by a young, creative team of entrepreneurs whose mission is to create distinctive, high quality wines. In a word, this young eager team strives challenge the status quo, always searching for unique and different ways to accomplish their goal to create great wines.
Under the guidance of head winemaker Felipe Tosso, the winery was built in the Coastal Maipo Valley, Casablanca, Leyda and Colchagua . Felipe Tosso is the craftsman behind GREY, involving himself in every detail of production. He works the vineyards, selects the fruit, controls fermentation, and oversees the 18-month ageing regimen for each of the wines. Single Blocks from Maipo Alto, Casablanca and Apalta make GREY a rarity in the world of wines.
After looking at the winemaking it was now time for the panel to get to work and put the wine to task. The Vina Ventisquero Carmenere 2011 is interesting in that only 50% of the grapes are crushed. A pre-fermentive maceration is carried out at 8C for 5 days. The Carmenere is aged 18 months in French Oak barrels, 33% of them new and 66% second and third use. The wine is then bottle aged for 8 months.
In the glass the wine showed hues of purple to garnet and medium bodied. On the nose, blueberry and black cherry are prominent giving way to wet earth and spice. On the palate, big flavors of blueberry and cherry tantalize the palate followed by pepper, earth and slate, ending in a long finish with light feminine tannins. This Vina Ventisquero Carmenere 2011 is a beautiful blend of 97% Carmenere and 3 % Petit Verdot and nicely balanced acidity.
Drink the Vina Ventisquero Carmenere 2011 now or age 10 years when it will become more complex over time. Look for this Carmenere , at $23.99 it is affordable and enjoyable.
Cuisineist Tasting Panel Score (Dec 2013) Vina Ventisquero Carmenere 2011 Trinidad Vineyard , Maipo Chile
Life was certainly beautiful at the first Life is Beautiful event at the continuing evolving downtown area of Las Vegas.
This downtown extravaganza showed off the musical talents of 70 bands and DJs that drew standing room only masses of dancing, peaceful, fun-loving fans of all ages. Two Ferris wheels and Cirque du Solei performances kept attendees busy all day and into the night .
In addition to the music and other events, Life Is Beautiful teamed up with Wirtz Beverage to feature wine tastings, a beer garden with live music and an Alchemy Village where mixology experts poured creations from their very talented beverage team.
The Culinary arts were a big part of the multi-day celebration the culinary village was located in the heart of the festival and ground zero to many world’s best chefs and restaurants. These chefs and over 50 restaurants provided gastronomic delights that made palates dance from the incredible dishes served all day and into the evening hours when renowned band’s tunes filled the air.
Over two incredible days, 20 of the most highly regarded chefs in the world showed their culinary skills live on a Sub-Zero Wolf, Westar Kitchen & Bath stage. These demonstrations featured celebrity Chefs such as Scott Conant, Johnathan Waxman, Hubert Keller, Cat Cora, Jet Tila ,Todd English and the two hot tamales themselves Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken as well as others who shared their kitchen secrets with eager guests.
Tony Hsieh, over the past few years has transformed downtown Las Vegas into a vibrant community abuzz with boutiques, locally owned restaurants, bars and of course the Zappos headquarters. The good news for the area is the inaugural event sold 40 percent of tickets to Las Vegas residents, most of whom have not spent much time downtown. After attending the festivities, we have no doubt Las Vegas residents will be spending much more time exploring what the area has to offer.
Overall, for an inaugural event, Life is Beautiful was a success.15 blocks of music, food, celebrity chefs and art showed off the new downtown that is Tony Hsieh’s on going vision. We look forward to the continued evolution of downtown over the next year
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