November 6, 2009

Wines of Chile-Some Awesome Values in Carmenere

I was fortunate to be invited by the good folks at Wines of Chile to participate in a tasting of some very fine Carmenere-based wines from Chile. The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, it is a member of the Cabernet family and is widely grown in Chile.

It was a fun night of tasting, many of the more popular wine bloggers from around the country participated including AtlantaWineGuy, WineforNormalPeople, 1WineDude, and mmmWine.

The full lineup included the following wines:

2007 Santa Carolina Reserva
2007 Odfjell Armador
2007 Viu Manent Reserva
2007 Cono Sur Vision
2008 Vina La Rosa Barrel Reserve
2007 Ventisquero Grey
2007 Terra Andina- Altos
2004 Carmen Winemaker's Reserve

All of the wines showed very well Wednesday night, there is not a wine I would not buy to drink again. The 2007 Santa Carolina showed a lot of oak early, but at $10, it's a fine bottle of wine. All of the wines offer pretty outstanding values, with most available for under $15.

Notes on some of my favorite bottles appear below:

2007 Odfjell Armador-Terrific coriander and tarry nose. Spice box-Red fruit wrapped in herbal notes. Silky tannins. Great with the steak.

2007 Venisquero Grey-Dark, dark wine. Some herbal notes on the nose. Sophisticated. Old world. Bright red fruit and pepper. Integrated.

2007 Terra Andina Altos--Wow. Kicking bottle of wine for $18. Sweet spice, cedar. Cocoa and coffee notes. Clean profile. Very nice.

2004 Carmen Winemaker's Reserve-Very sophisticated wine. Reminded me of a young Bordeaux. Cedar and red fruit, with spice box and robacco notes. Still wrapped pretty tightly, this has a few years left in the tank. Very nice wine.


  1. Glad you were able to be at the tasting. Good notes too!

  2. This was indeed a most excellent tasting. When I was a retail buyer, I always dreaded when someone would show up with a Carmenere. The bell pepper kills me. Fortunately, the wines of the tasting weren't full of the note. There was one where it was a bit much on the nose, but was well balanced on the palate. I'll be sure to post my own thoughts on this awesome event next week.

    I totally agree on the Terra Andina Altos, it was my favorite of the evening and showed much better than its $18 price tag.