Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $ Carma Carmenere, Curico Valley, Chile, 2010 (BEST VALUE)

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By way of background: Here's a less commonly-known varietal, carmenere, hailing from Chile, obtained as part of a distribution from Barclay's Wine, a distributor typically of value-priced wine selections.   I reviewed the 2008 vintage of this a year or so back.

Initial review : This is Carma Carmenere, Curico Valley, Chile, 2010, finished at 14.% alcohol.

In the glass: Carma Carmenere is deep purple magenta, turning opaque just at the center of the glass.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows deep and billowy purple fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich but perhaps tangy/bright on the palate.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweeter, richer and deeper with fruit than expected, with waves of lush blackberry fruit coming across your mouth.  There are acids there, for sure, but not overpowering.  In fact, just enough to lighten the experience. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  It even sees a plus for the friendliness of the fruit.  This is a best value!

Following long decant, several days kept cool in partially-filled bottle:  Subtler, gentler purple fruit on the nose.  The palate is more modest now, having lost some of its more poignant character when fresh.  I'd stay with the brief decant.

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