Sometimes the traditional tags used to describe wine—tar, damp earth, lavender, blackberry and white pepper for reds; peach, passion fruit, lemongrass and wet stones for whites—just won’t do. Sometimes a good old analogy is needed to get the mind, and the palate, stirring.
I find that celebrities—human and non-human—are a great source of creative expression when describing a wine. For me that celebrity (or should I say, movie star) is American actress Lauren Bacall. And the wine: 2008 Gê (Gê is the Greek word for “earth”), from Emiliana Organic Vineyards, Colchagua Vallede, Chile.
Before I tell you what it is about this wine that evokes images of a star known for her husky voice and sultry looks, let me say that I first looked to my own kind. There are so many famous felines, including Felix the Cat, the animated cartoon character created during the silent film era; the Pink Panther—the character not the diamond—of the series of comedy films featuring Inspector Jacques Clouseau; Duchess the Cat, the elegant feline from the animated Disney movie The Aristocrats; and even the regal lioness Elsa, star of the 1961 motion picture Born Free. All embodied at least one trait that I could attribute to the wine. But, as much as I love these fine-furry friends, neither of them made the cut.
For some reason this wine screams to me “Lauren Bacall.” So I’ll go with my instincts, as I’m wired to do. Bacall is one in a million, a memorable film star who will withstand the ages. And like Bacall, the 2008 Gê is one in a million, and definitely age-worthy.
A blend of organic and biodynamic grapes—Syrah, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon—this wine speaks volumes just like Bacall. Both are deep and mysterious yet approachable, complex yet balanced, elegant yet structured, feminine yet bold, sophisticated yet gutsy, soft-spoken in a throaty sort of way yet heard.
I adore this wine, as much as I adore Bacall. With an ample body, the 2008 Gê has a soft mouthfeel and is well proportioned. Everything you want in a wine is there: earth, spice, fruit, minerals, flowers, tannins, acid and more.
On the surface, the wine is a beauty, just like Bacall. A gorgeous deep violet color catches the eye. An alluring, sultry nose holds your attention for quite some time, despite the high percentage of alcohol (15 percent). Surprisingly, the alcohol is not obnoxious but instead is rather warm and inviting. What follows are aromas of juicy purple berries, candied dark fruit and dark red flowers, as well as hints of tobacco and graphite. The longer I breathe-in the wine’s aromas, the more mesmerized I become. It’s as if I’m being seduced by Bacall herself.
Supportive acid and silky tannin envelop flavors of blackberry, dark plum and black pepper. Hints of mineral and bitter greens complete the long, smooth finish.
Emiliana Organic Vineyards recommends cellaring the 2008 Gê for 15 years, and pairing it with venison, boar or other wild game. Sounds like a plan, being the carnivore that I am. To do the wine further justice, I’ll enjoy it while watching a classic Bacall movie, her first.
Viñedos Emiliana S.A.
Avenida Nueva Tajamar 481 Of. 905, South Tower
Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
Phone: +56 2 2 353 9130