Region: Chile – Curico Valley
Winemaker’s Notes: Dark garnet color or great intensity with an aroma of generous ripe red fruit and merged peppers with toasted French oak. A silky, flavorful mouth feel, creamy with great volume. Firm tannins provide an enjoyable finish. Best paired with light hors d’oeuvres and pastas.
My Review: My wife and I are always on the lookout for inexpensive wines that may not excite or inspire us, but are easy to sip on and are more interesting than cheap merlot or cabernet sauvignon from California, Australia, or New Zealand. Chile has become a favored region to get affordable wines that mix it up ever so much. When a friend recently brought over a bottle of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon that he had picked up and we enjoyed it we decided to pick some up at the store the next time we went. They were out of the Cab Sauv, but had a healthy supply of the Carmenere that we decided to give a try to.
On Sunday, while watching my 49ers lose to the Giants (frigging special teams!), we opened up the bottle of 2007 Folatre Carmenere Reserve. We had tried another bottle of it before, but there was something different about it this time. The wine is a nice deep red in the glass, and on the nose I got some fruit but a good amount of green peppers and brambles that I didn’t experience the first time we opened one of these bottles.
In the mouth I got more of the same that I got on the nose and a smoother finish than I remembered from my first try at the wine. Since we were watching football I had whipped up some buffalo chicken bites and while I wouldn’t call the pairing a revelation, it certainly wasn’t horrible.
I’m not going to sit here and say this is the best carmenere I’ve ever had – it’s not even the best one I’ve had in the last 6 months, but for an affordable wine you can do a lot worse and if nothing else it was a good bottle to drown my sorrows in while watching Kyle Williams give the game to the Giants.