After a couple of lackluster Pinots, I’m enjoying this generously flavoured Chilean wine very much. I bought this wine is because it is 30% Carménère, a variety once linked with Bordeaux but now associated primarily with Chile. And it was cheap.
Turns out it’s also really good and full of interest. Rich, Cabernet-dominant nose that reeks of overgrown gardens and ripe berries, though with a rich, chocolatey dimension that counters the angularity of the vegetation and adds depth and plushness to the aroma profile. There’s also a meaty, barnyard element that sits in the background. Unlike some Cabernets, this doesn’t come across as intellectual so much as a strong yet luscious.
Medium to full bodied, there’s immediate satisfaction on entry; dark berries and bitter chocolate and just enough of a herbal edge to generate some tension. Really, though, this is as hedonistic as Cabernet gets; by the time the middle palate arrives, you’re pretty much just enjoying a wash of dense berry flavour and a mouthfeel that modulates between roundness and furry tannin texture. A nice burst of Hubba Bubba on the after palate, some more chocolate and just a hint of oak, then a decent finish to round things off.
This is in many respects an ideal budget wine. It doesn’t scale any heights of complexity or intensity, but it has character and outstanding drinkability.