WBW #52: Value Chilean Reds

wbw-newThat’s right folks, it’s that time of the month again, Wine Blogging Wednesday!  This month, our host is Tim of Cheap Wine Ratings.  Very clearly, he would be choosing a theme near and dear to the purpose of his blog, to find good wines at value prices.  He set us to the task of finding a value red from Chile.  Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had a red wine from Chile before.  I’ve had plenty of whites, and actually, one of my favorite value Sauvignon Blancs is from Chile, the Veramonte.  But, reds, no.  So I didn’t even know what to look for.  Luckily, a fellow wino shot me an email and said I should keep my eye out for a Carmenére, as it’s a classic Chilean red grape.

And so I did.  And well, it turned out my store only had Carménere, so I didn’t have much of a choice anyway! I picked a bottle of the Casa Silva 2006 Reserva Carmenére from the Colchagua Valley in Chile.  Tim asked us to pick a wine for $20 or less, even better if we could find one closer to $10.  You can read all the details here.  Well, being the sometimes frugal person that I can be, I headed over to Total Wine with a coupon, and while the wine I chose retails for $13.99, I got it for $11.99.  Such a deal ;)  The wine had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found chocolate. It actually took me a while to find anything else but chocolate on the nose…which is fine by me, I love chocolate!  I also found pepper, spice, blackberry, boysenberry, plums, cranberry, orange rind, and white pepper.  There’s also something sweet on the nose, almost a candy of sorts, but I can’t place it…reminds me a bit of the smell of funnel cake.  In the mouth I got flavors of white pepper, cranberry, orange juice, blackberry, tea, and plums.  The wine is definitely tongue-drying…lots of tannins. What intrigued me most was the orange citrus running through the wine.

I must admit, I don’t know much of anything about Carmenére.  Of course, I’m happy to check off another grape on my way to the Wine Century Club…this makes number 78 by the way!  But curiosity killed this cat, so off I went in search of info about Carmenére.  I went to trusty Able Grape, an excellent seach engine that returns only info relevant to wine, and returned a plethora of websites.  I headed off to the Wine Pros to discover what they knew about the grape.  Turns out, Carmenére was mistaken in Chile for Merlot for quite some time.  People seem to think it may be a clone fo Cabernet Sauvignon though.  Most Carmenére is planted in Chile, though it appears that some can be found in California and France as well.

Many thanks to Tim for hosting this month. At $11.99 I definitely got a value red from Chile, and found a wine that would be cheap and cheerful for everyday drinking.  As always, a proverbial tip of the hat to Lenn, WBW’s founder.

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7 Responses

  1. Good choice, that is a yummy Carmenere.

  2. Nothing wrong with frugality – especially in these economic times! I’ve been enjoying Carmenere more and more and will be on the lookout for this one.

  3. Thanks for joining in on this theme. This sounds like a good Carmanere, and indeed a good price.

  4. carmenere has been Chile’s signature red but check out their malbec’s if you get a chance, might be even better then Argentina’s malbec. Chile is doing some great reds (syrah to die for), I prefer them to the whites.

    Check out my post for WBW 52 – http://winesleuth.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/873/

  5. […] the Wannabe Wino, found an affordable and enjoyable everyday wine in the 2006 Casa Silva Reserva Carménére for […]

  6. Carmenere seems a popular choice for this theme – ’cause thats what I picked!

  7. Thanks for the comments all. I had fun with this WBW and look forward to trying many more Chilean wines!

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