Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Chile Revelation

Loving and collecting wine is like anything else in the world; something started you on the path. Maybe it was that ’96 Barolo after an intense Saturday dinner service, a special wine that a friend poured for you at an event, or a vacation you took in a wine region. No matter what the reason is, it left a mark on you and part of the reason you keep going is to try and recapture that moment. However, like anything else, those special moments don’t happen too often. In the end, you can find yourself going months without being surprised by a new wine or years without being impressed with a different region. 

However, once in a blue moon, those moments happen; and last night, I had one with the wines of Chile.

I’d say the most amazing part of this revelation was when I looked at the cost of my highest scoring bottles, which were both under $20. To have wine this good, at this price point; I think I’m in love.

One is a Cabernet of exceptional character and quality that can be enjoyed now, yet still has the ability to age. The other is made from Carmenere. “Carmen-what,” you say? Carmenere was once nothing more than a blending grape for Bordeaux that many believe had seen its last days; however, today it has found a new home in Chile and is thriving. The Terra Noble Carmenere Gran Reserva was like a Ballerina; all muscle and intensity, yet it glided effortlessly across the dance floor… err… palate.

On to the notes:
2009 Terra Noble Carmenere Gran Reserva – This wine was a showstopper as its expressive nose showed a balanced mix of red and black berries, pretty floral notes with a bit of stemy funk, and mocha and oak, which followed close behind. On the palate, it showed great balance as its rich body gave way to juicy blue and red berry fruit with cinnamon and black pepper. The finish was long, showing a mix of ripe berries. (94 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!
2008 Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva de Familia – The nose showed intense, spicy blackberry jam, animal musk and coffee notes. On the palate, it was smooth and velvety, yet balanced with wild berries, dark chocolate, and subtle cinnamon. The finish was long and saturating with intense dark chocolate-covered dried cranberry. The tannins slowly melted away on the finish and showed great potential for the future of this wine. (92 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!

2009 Casa Silva Carménère Reserva - On the nose, I found blackberry, chalk dust, green bell pepper and manure. On the palate, it was big yet balanced, showing wild berries, more green-pepper leading to a cough syrup like finish. Looking back on my notes, I feel as if these descriptors fail to do this wine justice. The fact is, it was highly enjoyable in a gripping and earthy way and the complete opposite of the Terra Noble. (92 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!
2010 Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc Estate - The nose showed lemon with fresh cut grass, minerals and a bit of nuttiness. On the palate, this was mouth-filling with sour grapefruit, lime, minerals, and green apple. The finish was long with sour patch citrus fruits. Awesome value too. (90 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!

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