There’s a lot of delicious and fascinating wine coming out of Chile. The varieties available run the gamut. Not the least of them is Carmenere. More and more examples of this varietal are appearing on our shelves and they’re starting to gain some traction with wine lovers. Like a lot of what’s coming out of South America as a whole, and Chile in particular, Carmenere can often represent terrific values. Today I’ll look at one from the Rapel Valley. The Misiones D Rengo 2008 Carmenere was made using fruit sourced from vines with 17 years of age on them. In addition to Carmenere (95%), this wine has some Syrah (5%), blended in. After the grapes were hand harvested, fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. 80% of the wine was barrel aged in a combination of French and American oak; 6 months of bottle aging followed. This offering has a suggested retail price of $18.
Eucalyptus aromas are joined my plum, blueberry and wisps of vanilla bean in the heady nose of this wine. Fleshy dark fruit flavors tell the story of this wines palate. Blackberry is of particular note and it’s joined by black raspberry and continued plum. Mocha and chicory characteristics abound in the lengthy finish which also has sour red and black fruit flavors. A hint of brown sugar is present as well. There is a velvety quality to the finish, which along with all the appealing dark fruit flavors, beckons you back to the glass for sip after sip. This wine represents a very solid value and its also a good example of Carmenere as a varietal.