This past Wednesday I once again was lucky enough to participate in the Wines of Chile Virtual Blogger Tasting. For anybody that hasn’t seen me write about this before, Wines of Chile allows bloggers such as myself the opportunity to sample several bottles of Chilean wine and interact with the wine makers. It’s definitely one of the highlights of being a wine writer for me.
This particular tasting was of blended red wines, and I have to say that once I got the tasting kit I quickly wanted the 13th of October to arrive so I could open up the bottles. Given that they send us 8 bottles of wine, I invited several friends and family members over to participate in the tasting with me. So, here’s what we thought about the wines.
2005 Valdivieso Eclat
A blend of 56% Carignan, 24% Mourvedre, and 20% Syrah with a SRP of $27. Garnet in color with hints of purple in the color, red fruit on the nose with a flavor of tart berry on the palate with a noticeable tannic finish. Overall it wasn’t a bad way to start the tasting, but it wasn’t my favorite of the evening.
2006 De Martino Single Vineyard Old Bush Vines “Las Cruces”
A blend of 66% Malbec and 34% Carmenere with a SRP of $45. Dark red in color with aromas of dark chocolate and concord grapes. Flavors of fruit and bell pepper, prominent flavors in both Malbec and Carmenere, seemed to be fighting each other with neither one being able to win. While I didn’t dislike the wine, I don’t know that I could justify paying $45 for it.
2008 Estampa Gold Assemblage Carmenere
A blend of 57% Carmenere, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Petit Verdot with a SRP of $22. Dark, ruby red colors with aromas of pepper, tobacco, smoke, red fruit, and herbs. The flavor of bell pepper from the Carmenere really came through with the Petit Verdot smoothing out the finish. As I enjoy Carmenere by itself this wine was successful to me.
2008 Montes Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Carmenere with a SRP of $15. Garnet color with aromas of bell pepper and eucalyptus. Flavors of Bell pepper and what I could only call dish rag made me hesitant on this one. It wasn’t my least favorite, but it wasn’t my favorite either, though I will say some time in the decanter helped mellow out the dish rag flavors.
2006 Maquis Lien
A blend of 42% Syrah, 30% Carmenere, 12% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, and 7% Malbec with a SRP of $19. Medium-dark red in color with aromas of ripe black fruit, berry, spice, and a hint of bell pepper. Flavors of bell pepper, black pepper, and crushed fruit with a nice smooth finish made this one both enjoyable, and a great value for the price.
2008 Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol
A blend of 31% Syrah, 29% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 17% Carmenere with a SRP of $23. Medium-dark red in color with aromas of licorice, tobacco leaf, blackberry, black cherry, and spices. Flavors of raspberry with a smooth tannic finish that made this one of my favorites on the evening and another great value.
2007 Emiliana Coyam
A blend of 38% Syrah, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Carmenere, 17% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Mourvedre with a SRP of $29. An intense dark red color with aromas of dark fruit and earth with which lead into an earthy, dry palate with crushed berry flavors with a bit of oak on it as well. This was probably my favorite of the evening and one I would definitely pick up in the store.
2007 Casas del Bosque Gran Estate Selection Private Reserve
A blend of 61% Syrah, 26% Merlot, 13% Pinot Noir with a SRP of $50. Deep red in color, perhaps the deepest of the night, with aromas of currant, anise, berry, and lavender. Earthy flavors with flavors of black cherry, leather, and what I could only call Robitussin (though not in a bad way). This was easily the wine I was most looking forward to opening once I got the kit, and while I have a hard time spending $50 on any bottle of wine, this bottle was definitely far more worth the cost than the De Martino.
All in all I had a great time doing another Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting, and I look forward to doing more in the future. It was nice to try some other varietals from Chile, though I do think I like Carmenere either all by itself, or as a much smaller percentage of a blend – the bell pepper flavors tend to conflict with others to me.
I want to thank Wines of Chile for including me in this tasting, and thank my friends and family for coming over and helping me enjoy all the wine.