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.
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.