Here’s a look at a trio of new releases (all bottled in late 2020) from Chile-based Veramonte’s Primus label, which is almost always a solid way to get an above-average wine at an affordable price.
2017 Primus The Blend Apalta – A busy blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, carménère, petit verdot, and cabernet franc. The wine has the soothing earthiness of a Bordeaux, touched with some licorice, dark chocolate, and a smattering of baking spice. I’ve had more complex bottlings of this wine, but this 2017 rendition acquits itself well, showcasing a dry body that balances fruit, spice, and earth fairly deftly. B+
2017 Primus Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo – Aggressively raisiny, almost pruny, this 2017 vintage cab is not particularly sweet, its layers of licorice and dark chocolate giving it a particularly Port-like character on the well-extracted finish. That said, even in its raisiny density (albeit only coming in at 13.5% abv) it’s quite agreeable and even versatile, though pairing it with the right dish may prove difficult. B
2018 Primus Carmenere Apalta – On point for the style, smoky and beefy, with notes of tobacco, sage, and bacon all in evidence. A hint of lemon brightens up the finish, which is otherwise quite savory and dense. A better balanced wine than the 2017 bottling. B
each $19 / veramonte.cl