Friday, April 6, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $ Terra Andina Carmenere, Valle Central, Chile, 2008 - Wine Review (BEST VALUE)

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Initial review, by way of background, January, 2011: This is Terra Andina Carmenere, Valle Central, Chile, 2008, finished at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep magenta purple.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this pure carmenere shows bold, deep, earthy and full-on oaked nose, seeming quite big, serious and classic in its intensity.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are more playful and fruit driven than the nose... still showing old oak seasoning with distinct old world elements in the mid palate.  Then a center of ripe blackberry comes rapidly along.  The finish shows more brightness than depth, bringing more of a raspberry style finish.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a whopping big plus for its stunning nose and classical elements.  May hold up nicely to time or decant as well.  Best value.

Following long decant, two days kept cool in partially filled bottle:   Now the nose is bright, ruddy, red, and almost like tucking your nose into the middle of a new car engine - there is steel and oil in there with the fruit.  The palate is still a nice, balanced blend of spice, lusty fruit and old oak.
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Updated review, over a year later,  March, 2012:   Consistent color and the same deep, oaky nose.  The palate is light, but balanced, showing red ruddy fruit and old world elements.  Still very pleasant - and gentle.  Following long decant, two days kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Softer, very fragrant nose.  Very solid and balanced palate.  Holds up nicely for those who appreciate a lighter-bodied red.  Following an even longer decant, another full day:  Consistent nose.  The palate has grown so lithe and balanced, I am almost (but just not quite!) compelled to add a fourth star, which would have made this an awesome, crazy value.  Other than some pinot noirs, this is one of my favorite light-bodied reds with a lower alcohol level.  At this point, it is nonetheless a stunning bargain!

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