Category Archives: Chile
Carmenere from the Cachapoal Valley
The other day I was in the mood for some Chilean Carmenere, and at my favorite local wine shop I came across a bottle of Carmenere from the Puemo area of the Cachapoal Valley. This growing region is located within the Rapel sub-region of the Central Valley, and is known for red grapes, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Carmenere. The Carmenere I tried was a 2009 from Santa Ema. I really thought this was a great bottle of wine. It had that distinct earthiness that is typical of many Chilean wines, and a nice finish of spicy raspberry. For $12 this was a steal of a deal.
Another Chilean wine I thought was quite nice was a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva from Santa Rita. This Cabernet was sourced from the Maipo Valley, which is the oldest growing region in Chile. A sub-region of the Central Valley, the most widely planted red grape here is Cabernet Sauvignon. The Maipo Valley benefits from ocean breezes and higher elevations, which provides cool growing conditions in many areas of the region. This wine also had a nice earthiness to it, with hints of spice and black cherry. It was a well balanced full-bodied wine, and also was a great deal at $15.
There is a lot of good wine coming out of Chile these days, and if you are a fan of Chilean wines, I definitely would recommend both of these.
Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon / Carmenere
A winery that I have always enjoyed is Cono Sur, and I gotta say I haven’t met a wine of their’s that I didn’t like. The same can be said for
the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon / Carmenere. This wine is a 60% Cab Sauv and 40% Carmenere, from the Colchagua Valley, which is located within the Rapel Valley. This was a fantastic glass of wine. This wine had a nice dark purple color with a ruby red rim, and on the nose ripe black fruit along with a hint of earthiness. Smooth tannins and the right touch of oak went along nicely with a flavor of blackberry & plum, and made for an excellent finish. This is definitely a wine that is hard to put down, and I found it the perfect wine for enjoying a Spring day. Another great thing about this wine is the fruit was grown organically, and the winery prides itself on sustainable viticulture practices. Cono Sur is committed to being an environmentally conscious winery, and believes that great wine can be made while taking care of the environment at the same time. I was quite impressed with this wine, and am already planning on finding more. So if you are looking for a great wine to relax with, look no further than this Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere blend.
Santa Carolina Carmenere
The Central Valley of Chile is a large growing region that consists of four main sub-regions – the Curico Valley, Maipo Valley, Rapel Valley, and Maule Valley. There are many different varietals grown in these regions, just a few being Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Pinot Noir. I recently tried a Carmenere from the Rapel Valley, a 2009 produced by Santa Carolina. This winery is one of a group of about a dozen wineries that produce close to 90 % of the Chilean wine exported to the United States. Santa Carolina has been making since 1875, and the original warehouse built for the winery was declared a national monument in 1973. The 2009 Reserva Carmenere I tried was an excellent wine, it had a deep purple color, along with aromas of ripe black fruit along with a little earthiness. It had smooth tannins on the finish along with hints of black berry. It was a nice glass of wine, and it paired well with the grilled steak I had along with it. I always enjoy a good glass of Carmenere, and this was definitely among the best I have tried.
Chilean Winery Cono Sur is starting a summer campaign encouraging consumers to drink chilled Pinot Noir. Although it’s not a wine that you would normally drink chilled, it might not be a bad idea. There’s nothing liked chilled wine in the summer…