I did not care for the last Carmenère I had, realizing that the varietal as a whole was too gamy and earthy for me with some exceptions. When I saw this bottle at the shop I figured I would give it another go, recognizing the winery name and hoping for a better result. It starts off quite inky in the glass. I can smell the earthiness from a few feet away. On the nose it is quite interesting, if not a touch green and herbal. Capsicum, violets, black currants and blueberry all hit me. The palate is quite sharp right off the bat, piquant acidity and a touch of tannic bite are the first tastes/sensations I get. Once past that part I get some black currants, licorice, coffee and a hint of game to go along with the bell peppers. It’s not my favorite flavor profile, but at least it’s not unpleasant. Th wine has a decent structure but it tends to lean towards the tart side of the scale and the green flavors are really prominent on the mid palate. The finish is sour, yet it lacks acidity per se. The tannins are medium in intensity and slightly underripe. Overall this wine is drinkable and forgettable. At least I am not gagging on it. 82 points from me and at $20, it’s a 1 star effort. This varietal is quickly losing my interest. Salut….
A friend brought this wine to the table, straight from her visit to South Africa. A Shiraz from the Stellenbosch region that I found out costs about $9. We were sitting outside on a warm humid evening in very low light so I could not really see the color. The nose was very impressive: layers of plum, oak, spice and blueberry. Alas, very thin and watery on the palate. A huge disappointment as I was relishing the flavors I had already smelt. I coaxed the plum and berry components out, and managed to enjoy the wine once I got over the weight. The overall impression was that this could have been a really good wine, the acidity, balance and tannins were all lined up. 2 stars and 82 points.
I recently tasted the Chilcas Cabernet, which scored well on my quality/price criteria. Moving on to the Carmenere varietal I was hoping for similar performance, but alas I was let down.
The varietal is one of the original six Noble Bordeaux grapes and is related to the Cabernet family. I have never had a French Carmenere, only Spanish and more predominantly- Chile. I find it to be very spicy, with strong hints of green pepper (capsicum) and lacking hefty tannins. This particular bottling hit me with a very ‘tinny’ taste profile which was almost medicinal on the initial attack. The spice and red currants hit on the mid-palate, but are somewhat overshadowed by the metallic taste. I really did not enjoy the profile, but it did mellow out after about an hour. This is a major wave-off, spend your cash on their other wines. 82 points and 1 star.
A few of my colleagues gathered for a little Christmas cheer upon our arrival in Hong Kong and this was the first of many bottles to be opened. Very primary in fruit with a decent nose and mid-palate it offered no sign of aging potential. A decent way to start out as it was not heavy, complex or overpowering. Very reasonably priced, this one is a sure winner for informal drinking or large parties. From a pro standpoint, perhaps an 82 rating but I’m giving it 4 stars for being a good QPR player.