To think of Chilean red wine is to think of Carménère, one of the country’s most popular, if not the preeminent grape used in the nation’s winemaking enterprise. Originally indigenous to Bordeaux, the varietal has thrived internationally since the late 19th century and is used with little frequency in its country of origin. Thankfully, Chile has kept the tradition going and today we uncork this Carménère from the foothills of Chile’s Maule Valley, one of the nation’s finest wine-growing regions.
An unrestrained rush of blackberry and cherry sets the scene with great urgency, with notes of fig and vanilla peeking through after a bit of time. The cherry remains dominant on the palate but is accompanied by notes of graphite, tobacco leaf, and pepper to provide a bit of full-bodied, but savory, balance. The finish is long and lingering, with cherry integrating nicely with minor hints of minerality and sage towards the end. There’s also a touch of mint peeking through for an added twist to the plot without being a distraction.
This would work well with a hearty, rich dinner but also as a nice, long after-dinner sipper if time permits. And at this price point, it’s quite the value.
A- / $20 / 1865wines.com