Carmenere – A gem of a bottle!

I was at Earl’s last night, celebrating a friends birthday.  In looking at the wine list, I spotted this particular wine in the red’s list.  At $10.25/glass, $18/half liter and $28/bottle, I was feeling pretty good about spending $12 on this gem of a bottle.

Chilean wines have been fascinating me lately.  In fact, all wines from South America I’m wanting to learn more about.  There are some great vintners that are coming out of South America and the quality of this wine is outstanding.  Not to mention the value!  A lot of these wines are under twenty bucks and are stellar in quality!  I especially wanted to search for the Carmenere grape.  Originating out of the famous Bordeaux region of France, carmenere means “crimson” which refers to the brilliant crimson colour of the autumn foliage prior to the fall of leaves. Now, it is rarely produced in France, but in vast quantities in Chile; one of the more well known grapes of that region.  This grape is often found in blends as well, specifically with Cabernet Sauvignon.

What I like about this wine is the body is medium and well-rounded.  My mouth is not full of that astringency (tannin) that is so prominent in a Shiraz or even in a Cab.  Now I have to be honest with you, when I tasted this wine, I was suffering from a cold. (My two main senses in the tasting exercise were seriously inhibited to say the least.)  However, I did get a nice smokiness on the nose along with the aromas of black pepper and blackberry.  And as I said earlier, it was well rounded in my mouth with a smooth finish.  I didn’t have it with anything, so that tells me it would be a great fireside sipping wine.  There were hints of dark chocolate in the taste as well, so perhaps a decadent chocolate dessert would go very nicely!

Watch for more blog posts on Chilean and Argentinian wines!

Errazuriz Estate 2009
$12.99 – Superstore

If you’re looking for another good value and good quality for the Carmenere grape, try the Cono Sur Carmenere/Cabernet Sauvignon blend that is also considered an organic wine. 

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