Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Early Spring Pairing with a Punch

Today was one of those perfect early Spring days. The temperature was in the high 60's, the sun was shining and I got to spend a few hours playing golf. Yes, a wonderful day. So, to end this day I wanted a pairing that was as perfect as the day.

Recently I was on The Cigar Lounger internet radio show and we talked about Lanceros sized cigars. In my humidor I had one left from the bunch I brought to the show. In my mind this was the perfect cigar for today.
To pair with this cigar I needed a wine to stand up with it and not overpower this thin beauty.

Cigar:
Oliva Serie V Lancero

Wine:
Root: 1 2012 Carmenere


The Cigar:
This is one of those cigars I has been acclaimed as one of the best of 2012 by Cigar Aficionado magazine. And I really cannot disagree. But, not just in 2012, this cigar keeps on delivering year after year.
The Oliva Serie V cigar in this Lancero size gives you much more of a wrapper to filler ratio giving it it's wonderful complexity and flavors.
It has a Habano Sun Grown wrapper, with Nicaraguan binder and a filler from the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua giving it the spice that you expect from a cigar made with tobacco from the Jalapa Valley.
Knowing that I expected this cigar to pack a slight punch and it did. Do not let the thin 38 ring gauge fool you into thinking this is a lightweight cigar, this cigar has tons of flavor and ends up being on the high side of medium to the low side of a full bodied cigar.
You really get those earthy notes and the spice from the filler tobaccos but the cedar and dark chocolate from the Sun grown come out all through the smoke. Very enjoyable from start to finish.

The Wine:
From all you just read about this cigar you'd guess you need a wine with alot of character and complexity to compliment the smoke. I was a bit tossed up as to what wine I wanted for this pairing. I didn't want to go too dry because the balance would have been off, too fruity and it would have really clashed.
I settle on a newer varietal for me that is growing in my collection, a Carmenere. This particular bottle is a 2012 vintage from the Root: 1 vineyards of Chile.
The Root 1: 2012 Carmenere is 85% Carmenere and 15% Syrah grape and aged for 10 months in both American and French oak. This wine has a very full body with the fruit forward especially in the nose. It has hints of blackberry, plum and a smoky finish.
The wine did need to be decanted before it really reached it's potential, but after a few hours of breathing the wine opened up and the ripe aroma and full flavor came out.
The Pairing:
This is one of those pairings that could be a bit much for some people. A fuller bodied cigar with a deep, fruit forward wine, but for me the balance was perfect. The deep plum noted of the Root: 1 Carmenere balance nicely with the spicier noted of the Oliva Serie V Lancero.

Another great thing about this pairing is the price.
The Root: 1 202 Carmenere is under $15.00 a bottle and the Oliva Serie V Lancero will run you about $6.00. Making this pairing not only enjoyable but thoroughly affordable.

My only recommendation is to enjoy this pairing after a good meal of possibly steak or barbeque.
It definitely has an effect.





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Thank you for your interest. Enjoy!