Medium intensity purple colored, this 13% ABV wine has a watery sheen on the glass sides. The nose has got an interesting aroma of boysenberry, purple licorice, charcoal, cloves and black pepper. The palate is dry yet there is sweet, ripe fruit there. Tart acidity and lithe tannins get the show started. Fruit forward with boysenberry, red plum, raspberry and very little oak influence here. The acidity is making my teeth buzz. Body-wise this wine is medium with a medium length finish that has a touch of herbaceousness to it. It’s a fruity affair with lots of tartness that will pair well with lighter meats, fatty cheese (think aged, gooey Brie) or stuffed portobellos. I would drink this till 2025. It gets 89 points from me. No pricing info but I would guess sub $15. 4 stars. Salut….
I’m re-visiting this varietal as it intrigues me. Back in the day I had some great Carmenere’s but recently had the misfortune of trying one that was over-the-top vegetal. I really despised it and could not bring myself to drink any for quite a while. This one is quite opaque in the glass and purple in color. The nose has got some creosote, cooked black plum, iron, graphite, blackberry and cracked pepper. The palate is a touch thin but I get black fruit and earthy minerality along with the tar-like flavors I got on the nose. It is very smooth with low to medium tannins and medium acidity on the back end. The wine would be classified as light weight in body even though it sports 14.5% ABV. The finish is medium in length and I get more of that black pepper component along with some espresso notes. It’s a decent drop that gets 87 points from me. I would drink until 2024 with grilled meats and chimichurri sauce for sure. At under $10 it’s easy to stock up on this 3 star wine. Salut….
During the 10th Virtual Wine Tasting in September of 2020 I introduced the Carmenere grape to our group. It was met with skepticism. Read all about the Massal 1945. I did not care for the herbaceous nature of the bottle and was put off varietal for a while, until I saw this one from Concha Y Toro. One of my favorite brands, they have good, consistent wines. This grape needs to properly ripen or else it is green and disgusting.
Our group felt this bottle was very good, some thinking it was the wine of the night. Flavors and aromas of this semi-opaque wine consisted of raspberry, chocolate, plum, capsicum and black pepper. Medium tannins, medium body and gentle acidity made for a nice mouthfeel alongside a relatively short finish. I scored it a 91, which is below the pros. At $18 it’s a great way to discover Chile’s signature grape that gets 5 stars from me. Whew, relief that it was good rather than controversial. Drink till 2024. Salut….
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….
When I started the Virtual Wine Tasting Company I wanted to educate my friends as best I could about as many varietals that we could find. This was the 39th different bottle thus far, and it has taken over as the most controversial wine yet. Some loved, others hated, and I mean with a passion. It stunk, like ass. I will just copy and paste my notes:
Bright purple in glass, nearly opaque. Fine legs.
Smells like the farm, very herbal, hay and cow pies. Funky. Burnt plastic, bell pepper.
On the palate it offers black cherry, more funk, and is smooth. Rounded. Not overly tannic nor acidic. Well with cheese.
This was an over-the-top expression of Carmenere that I enjoyed to a certain degree. Moxie gave it 1 point on my tasting scale because it was visually pleasing! I tried it on night 2 and it’s as funky as ever, not everyone’s cup of tea. I would give it 88 points from a technical standpoint but I honestly cannot recommend this $21 wine, it’s too much. The pro’s went massive on it with scores ranging from 93-94! Wowsa. Salut….
Recently added to the local shop- I’m excited to try this Carmenere from Koyle. I love their Syrah and Cabernet. It’s nearly black in the glass and very opaque. The nose gives off nice warm blueberry pie, oregano and violet notes. It has a very extracted quality. On the palate it is a touch austere with plums, blueberry and acidity that has a nice bite. The midpalate is more juicy, the blue fruits turning red. The acidity is countered on the back end with some greenish tannins. As you might tell this wine is a bit disjointed, slightly green and probably needing some food. I’m going 87 points and 2 stars for this $25 effort. Drink now if you have any. Salut….
It has been a while since I have bought this brand. Chilean value is what I think of when I see it. Let’s see how this Carmenere fares. Very purple hues in the glass make for a good beginning. On the nose I am getting candy, some oak and black currants. My first taste is quite nice. The wine is fresh, fruity, upbeat and charming. Black berries and twizzlers come to mind. The acidity pops up and there is a very slight trace of tannins on the back end. This is not a complex wine but would rock a BBQ party, perhaps some pizza or even hamburgers. It will keep everyone happy with its $10 price tag and it get 88 points from me. This 4 star wine should be a staple, especially if you have parties and barbecues. Salut….
Dark purple. Nose of earthy plums and black currant. On the palate – blackberry, plum and dusty tannins. Half way through I’m getting some blueberry hints and the telltale earthy component that Tempranillo often shows. The acidity is a little off for me but the tannins are ever present and leave the finish a nice shade of dry. WS gave this wine 90 points. I’m going with 88. A decent drop for a pop-n-pour night at home with some spaghetti, maybe a thin crust pizza. $12 make this a 4 star wine. Salut….
A few buddies and I settled into some Chilcas Cabernet yesterday and found the need to send a runner to get more vino. ‘Coolio’ was duly dispatched while my Russian friend ‘Edvard’ and I held the fort. He returned with the 2012 version of Chilcas Carmenere. I panned the 2011 badly and only gave it 1 star so I was skeptical about this wine. I was in for a surprise.
Bargain basement pricing of $9 for a liter would make most people nervous about the quality, but this wine is very well made for what it is. The nose showed bright red fruits and a touch of oak. On the palate, very fruity with a forward expression of red currants, raspberries and cranberry. The wine is made in a very easy style with very little tannic framework but with juicy acidity. This is a pop-n-pour wine that would pair nicely with charcuterie and olives or perhaps a BBQ of burgers, dogs, slaw and some baked beans. 87 points but 5 stars for over delivering on the quality/price ratio. Think party and you will be buying this by the case. Salut….
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.