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.