The Accidental Wine

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These 12 examples of Carmenère show that the variety’s future is bright.

92 Concha y Toro 2010 Terrunyo Block 27 Entre Cordilleras (Peumo). Mossy, lightly herbal aromas of blackberry and marzipan are attractive. This is rich and racy in the mouth, with vanilla, tobacco, plum and berry flavors that finish long and ride elegantly on a beam of slightly sharp acidity. Drink this fine Carmenère through 2016. Excelsior Wines.
abv: 14.5%           Price: $50

92 Santa Carolina 2009 Herencia (Peumo). Keeping with past performances, Herencia is again one of Chile’s best Carmenères. This is bold, toasty and ripe on the nose, with tobacco and vanilla nuances. The palate is huge but in shape, while toasty, chocolaty flavors, along with herbal plum and berry notes, end chewy and deep. Drink through 2016. Carolina Wine Brands USA.
abv: 15%             Price: $90

92 Viu Manent 2010 El Incidente (Colchagua Valley). Lofty from the start, this extracted Carmenère pumps out toasty, herbal aromas of smoked meat, leather and black fruits. The palate feels flush and thick, while flavors of baked blackberry, herbs, spice, mint and pepper finish with a warm wave of mocha and chewy tannins. Drink through 2017. Baystate Wine & Spirits.
abv: 14.5%         Price: $50

91 Montes 2010 Alpha (Colchagua Valley). Everything about this mid-tier Carmenère seems right. The nose deals black-fruit aromas along with black olive, licorice and herbal notes. The mouth is round, friendly and textured, with a mix of roasted plum, berry, herb, spice, olive and tomato flavors. On the finish, it’s balanced. Drink now–2016. TGIC Importers.
abv: 14.5%         Price: $25

91 San Pedro 2010 Tierras Moradas (Maule Valley). Plum, berry, licorice and balsamic aromas are earthy and classy. This feels chunky and heavy, but not ponderous. Flavors of prune, rooty spices, mint and chocolate finish with mocha and fig notes. Enjoy this ripe, full-bodied wine anytime through 2017. Shaw-Ross International Importers.
abv: 14%            Price: $45

91 Santa Rita 2008 Pehuén (Apalta). With cool, herbal aromas of cola, pine, juniper, fine oak and savory berry fruits, this is a fine Carmenère. The palate is full, deep and still fresh after several years in the bottle. Flavors of stewed cherry, baked plum and cassis come with no shortage of savory support, while the finish is saucy in taste, with raciness, gravitas and length. Drink through 2018. Palm Bay International.
abv: 14.5%         Price: $70

90 Errazuriz 2010 Kai (Aconcagua Valley). This absurdly priced Carmenère is always one of Chile’s best, and this vintage is just fine, with cherry, cassis, graphite, herb and eucalyptus-like green aromas. The palate is chunky and round in feel, with solid acidity and plump, herbal flavors of berry fruits, olive and spice. But what justifies a $235 price tag? You can be the judge. Vintus LLC.
abv: 14.5%        Price: $235

90 Lapostolle 2010 Cuvée Alexandre Apalta Vineyard (Colchagua Valley). Opaque in color and superrich on the nose, it has dominant aromas of earth, leather, baked fruit and spice. It feels lush and chunky, maybe a touch soft, with earthy, naturally herbal flavors of dark fruit, plum and chocolate. The finish is smooth and warming. Terlato Wines International.
abv: 14.3%       Price: $25

90 Siegel 2012 Single Vineyard (Colchagua Valley). Minty plum and berry aromas are herbal but ripe, with a note of chocolate and black tea. This is lush and layered, with top-end mouthfeel and herbal, floral flavors of berry fruits and plum. A smooth, herbal tasting finish is the finale to a well-made, flavorful wine. Kysela Père et Fils.
abv: 13.5%      Price: $22

90 Viña Bisquertt 2010 Ecos de Rulo Single Vineyard (Colchagua Valley). Although this smells a bit flat and earthy, cool, herbal berry aromas as well as coffee and spice make this inviting and easy to like. A flush, jammy palate maintains its pulse, while a mix of spicy black fruits, licorice, espresso and chocolate flavors end long and lightly herbal. Drink this cuddly wine sooner rather than later. Prestige Wine Group.
abv: 14%         Price: $20

89 Undurraga 2012 Sibaris Reserva Especial (Colchagua Valley). Spicy, earthy cherry and cassis aromas are true to the variety. This is juicy, bright and substantive in feel, with red berry, oak spice and herbal flavors. A minty, chocolaty finish full of herbs and spices provides for a good ending. Testa Wines Of The World.
abv: 14.5%      Price: $17

85 Santa Alicia 2012 Reserva (Maipo Valley). Hard spice and minty green aromas heavily shadow the wine’s fruit character. In the mouth, it’s mildly creamy feeling, while the flavors suggest toast, herbs, chocolate and spicy berry fruit. This is a basic but honest representation of Carmenère. Halby Marketing. Best Buy.
abv: 14%         Price: $10

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