As the song goes, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, so no matter if we get snow or not, cosying up home with a bottle of a wine worth savouring slowly is just one of those little pleasures that come with the holiday season.
Being in the southern hemisphere, Chile is actually going through summer as we tighten our coats, but our wine of the week offers a powerful and refined example of something ideal to relax and let it snow.
Coyam 2012 is a complex and unusual blend from Chile’s Colchagua Valley, made from 39% Syrah, 32% Carmenere, 17% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Mouvedre and 1% Malbec. If it was a person, it would be that outdoorsy friend that knows how to build a campfire and who has the coolest scary stories to tell by the fire.
He’d be at home in the forest, a location in which a lot of this wine’s aromas can actually be found… Ripe red cherries and blackcurrants, wet leaves, a pleasant earthiness, a herbacious leafy note and of course oak and the toasty spiciness that comes with it. In fact the word “Coyam” means “oak” in the tongue of the Mapuches, Chile’s ancient inhabitants and indigenous people and it honours both the land’s heritage and the material that helps to give Coyam its character.
While oak forests surround Emiliana (the prestigious winery behind Coyam), oak barrels do the same for this wine, as it spends slightly over a year ageing and mellowing up. The result is a rich and intense red with smooth tannins and a long, harmonious finish.
And it’s not all talk and inspired naming; Coyam is made from organic grapes grown using biodynamic agriculture and the environmentally friendly practices the winery follows have also earn them a CarbonZero certification.
It’s a hearty and intense wine, so instead of a campfire, it’ll be ideal over a fireplace this winter. If you want to serve it with food, try Grilled Lamb Rump with Rosemary Cauliflower Mash or beef and stout pies.
Coyam 2012 is available at O’Briens Wines at €18.95 (on offer from €22.95).
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.