Chile’s Veramonte has numerous sub-labels, including Ritual and Primus, all of which we have reviewed extensively in the past. Today we look at a bottling from each of these brands, all of which are made with 100% organic ingredients. Let’s dive in.
2019 Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon – Organic or not, this is cheap cab, underdeveloped and without charm, an expression of old barrels and underripe grapes, a wine that evokes notes of pencil shavings and dried-up prunes in lieu of the rich currants and vanilla notes that one expects from a fine cabernet. It’s 12 bucks, of course. You get what you pay for in this case. D / $12
2017 Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley – A tougher expression of pinot noir, this bottling from the Ritual brand filters its cherry notes through a denser licorice and leathery quality, some dark chocolate perking up the finish. Overall, the experience is a bit doughy throughout, lacking the vibrant acidity that makes good pinot great. B / $20
2018 Primus The Blend Apalta – This blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 20% carmenere, 10% petit verdot, 10% syrah, and 5% cabernet franc works well, offering a pleasant mix of black fruit, leather, and hints of sweeter stuff — vanilla and cherry soda. It pairs well with food, never too sweet and never too savory, with gently smoky notes that help it to drink delightfully on its own on a wintry fireside night. A- / $19