There’s high energy emitting from this jacked-up varietal. Fig, cocoa, moss, cola and blackened fruit aromas introduce a ripped palate of high-volume cherry, plum, berry, chocolate and hard spice flavors. Hard and aggressive before airing; 608 cases made; drink now through 2015.
Deep purplish-scarlet in color, with rich tobacco, cassis and smoke aromas and an incredibly dense mouthfeel. The dry fruit and soft, luscious tannins make the wine weightless on the palate.
The top tier of Apaltagua’s three Carmenères is softer and richer in fruity flavors, with extremely fine tannins. It’s plump and sumptuous as velvet on the palate. Seems balanced enough for the cellar, but the Envero bottling, at half the price, is a better value.
Rock solid, with fully developed berry, plum, cola and fine-oak aromas. Rich and fancy, with all the best attributes Carmenère has to offer, including red plum fruit, earth, herbs and chocolate. Big on the finish, but kept afloat by healthy acidity. A model for extracted New World Carmenère.
Tasted blind, this is the third straight vintage Grial has pulled a 91. That tells you that winemaker Alvaro Espinoza is as consistent as they come and that Carmenère is capable of excellence. This wine offers lovely aromas and racy berry and plum flavors. And along the way there’s enrichening pulp, oak and tannins. Drink now into 2009.
Lively, fresh and spicy, with deep cassis and berry aromas. The palate is a bit angular and bumpy in feel, but there’s no issue with the wine’s berry, cassis and lightly herbal flavors. Finishes long, with elegance and balance. Drink now through 2014.
For the second straight year, Envero is a more elevated wine than Apaltagua’s basic Carmenère, and it shows all that’s good in the variety. The bouquet blends ripe black fruit with pepper and spice, while the palate is full of plum, blackberry and molasses. It’s big but lively, with ripe tannins and pure flavors. Drink now through 2009.
Starts out charred and hot, but then come the varietal spice, olive, herb and black fruit aromas. It’s layered, tight and tannic on the palate, with spicy berry, herb and olive flavors. Gets fuller, chunkier and riper with airing. Drink now through 2013.