Variety: 90% Carmenere; 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Cachapoal Valley, Chile
Cost: $17 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Intense purple-red color. Aromas of blueberries, damson plums, chocolate, and a hint of white pepper. Dense, rich texture on the palate highlights flavors of black fruits, with soft, sweet tannins and a good finish. An excellent match for firm cheeses, roasted and grilled meats, and spicy dishes.
My Review: I don’t know about where you live, but we’re in peak grilling season here in Raleigh, NC (to be fair, I grill year round, but you know what I mean). Fortunately, I have several Carmeneres that are perfect for grilling. How fortuitous. Serendipitous? Lucky? Advantageous? Yes…all of those things.
Today we talk about the 2016 Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere. In case you haven’t been following along for the last 9 years, I’m a fan of Carmenere, especially this time of year given how well it pairs with grilled food. So what was I to do but fire up the grill and pop the cork?
In the glass the wine was a deep garnet red with slashes of purple. On the nose I picked up strawberries and herbs, while in the mouth the wine was dry and medium bodied, with flavors of tart cherry and a clean finish that didn’t insist or linger long after the party was over (nobody likes the guests, so don’t be one).
My wife and I paired the wine with some sirloins off the grill, baked potatoes, and asparagus. The wine was a nice pairing, balancing the smoky notes of the grilled meats and the seasoning we’d used.
For $17 I really like this wine. I’ve had plenty of wine from Cocha y Toro over the years, and from Chile in general, and the balance of quality and price never disappoints. A great option for breaking up the usual Cabernet at your next BBQ.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.