2005 Chamán de Santa Cruz

The 2005 Chaman de Santa Cruz is a 50/50 blend of Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon. ChamanThe Carmenere grape has been making some noise in Chile over the last decade. Prior to that it had been sometimes confused in the vineyard with Merlot. This after it was wiped out in Europe in the late 1800's due to Phylloxera. Carmenere  is softer with less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon and is thus often used to blend. Some wineries will bottle it as a varietal, but more often than not it plays a supporting role.

In this case Carmenere is the equal partner of Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is pretty big, once this wine has had some time to breathe. The initial hit is blueberry pie. Chaman is rich and mouth-filling with a lush texture. The mid palate features some white pepper to go along with copious berry fruit notes. The finish has a slight, almost imperceptible tannic bite. Mocha notes however dominate the finish which is a pretty lengthy one cosnidering this wine is selling for around $12.00. Chaman is unlikely to improve at all in the bottle as it's built to drink young. It should hold and remain enjoyable for a couple of years.