EP 822 Chilean Carmenere Tasting

Gary introduces a grape that’s made a splash in Chile and brings some great value to the table.

Wines tasted in this episode:

Vina Chocalan Carmenere 2008Chile Carmenere
2008 Tamaya CarmenereChile Carmenere
2006 Vina San Pedro 1865 CarmenereChile Carmenere

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Wrong video for this caption….its 821 showing Mott 🙂

Tags: Carmenere, Chilean, red, review, wine, wines

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  • We just got word from him this morning and everything is OK with them…we were just concerned because they go to Santiago frequently and stay down there when they do, as well as having friends in Conception. I am guessing that all is well you? Thanks for the offer to try and make contact. You can email me direct if you like at todd @ vtwinemedia.com, and we can spare the rest of the folks reading the comments.

  • FYI all Chilenophilos:
    James Molesworth’s twitter feed is reporting information on quake damage at the wineries.

  • englishexlurker

    hey there!

    you tried the Falernia reserve Syrah? Fantastic wine…


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  • cwpeters

    I love Carmenere. In my opinion it is much better than Malbec. I've had approx. 10 of them but I think they are the absolute best value in wine right now. I grew up in a Cali Cab household and this hits my pallet perfectly. I've had a few $15 Carmenere's that are every bit as good as $50-$60 cabs. I love these. The 2006 Montgras is the best one I've had and it was $13. I had it at a blind tasting and thought it was a $40-$50 bottle of wine.

  • scooterthinks

    LLOOOOVVVVEEEE love love the t-shirt! wearscience.com baby, teach the controversy! I had my first carmenere as a pairing with dinner on valentines day with the GF, pumped to explore it more,especially at that price point . in fact it's like 10:30 am and i'm headed out the door right now to go get some and open it up for dinner! keep up the great work Gary.

  • I've had a few (3 or 4) thx to your previous rants about palate expansion. Def enjoyed them and the $ points. Thanks for the show!

  • Kevin C.

    QOTD: I've had three or four in the past. It's been a couple of years and sounds like a good time to revisit this varietal. I found Malbec more to my liking in the past so have spent more time and money there.

  • PSPatrick

    I can account for one Carmenère and one Carmenère-blend over the last three years, so I have probably had less than five in my life.

  • MarkL

    I'm so glad you did this episode Gary. Carmenere, believe it or not, is what got me “into” wine. I traveled in 2002 to Chile and went to my first vineyard/winery ever, called Viu Manent, and tasted all of their wines and fell in love with the Carmenere grape. (and especially the Carmenere, Cab blends) I proceeded to buy and drink everything Chilean I could afford during my travel there, and even brought back 10 bottles in my check-in luggage to keep. I lucked out with my packing job because all of them arrived safely despite the fact that during my travels between Chile and home, I had 10 other destinations to travel to… so I had to pack and re-pack for 14 flights and none of the bottles broke in my checked luggage!

    I have one bottle left undrunk from those 10: one from Terra Noble, 2000. The last one I drank (no. 9) was a Viu Manent Reserve from 99. Drank it last year and it was a great representation of what a few years can do to a well made wine which might only be a B+ wine upon release… it was spectacular!

    I would love to know your thoughts on the CONCHA Y TORO CARMENERE PUEMO 2005. I have purchased a case of that, but not popped one yet.

    Merry Drinking,

  • nickmazzuca

    I've had one, Casillero del Diablo Carmenere. Spectator reviewed it well, and my local supermarket had it on special. I was pretty non-plussed. Good to know that there might be more to it than that.

  • billlfish

    See Eric Asimov's comments on a Carmenere review from a few years ago: http://www.bestcarmenere.com/nyt_review/NYT_Rev
    Vina MontGras was the big winner at $11

  • bayouwino

    I agree. The 2004 Terrunyo Peumo was the best Ive had as well. The 2005 was not as good. I have some of the 2006, but have not tried it. 2007 Casillero del Diablo Reserve very good for the price.

  • Cristian M.

    Yes I’ve tried it and I like it a lot. In general, lots of those coastal northern valleys, like Elqui and Limary, are creating great Syrah and Chardonay, and some good Carmenere. Examples of winaries are TABALI, OCHO TIERRAS, MAYCAS. Try them if you can.

  • Yes I love Carmenere. Unfortunately with the turn of events there these beauties may go up in price.

    QOTD: My very first one '05 Ventisquero Reserva intense ruby color and on the nose ripe plums and chocolate all day long!!! Just bought a 08 Santa Rita Reserva Valle Del Rapel can't wait to taste it!

  • Pingback: Chilean Carmenere Tasting ? Episode #822 | TibTV()

  • dariakushmelyn

    I tried my first Carmenere this summer in non-wine friendly conditions and it came through like gangbusters – I fell in love with it. It was an Errazuriz which I bought in a liquor store in Quebec City and then didn't drink it till a campground in Tadoussac, Quebec. I drank it out of an old coffee cup without letting it breathe, and it was delicious! Green, fruity, rich, a beautiful almost purple red colour. I've bought this same wine three times since and always enjoyed it, AND it tastes good the next day, which you can't say about most red wines (that I can afford). Try it, it's a general listing at the Ontario LCBO, about $12.

    Daria K

  • wpggord

    Up here in Canada, I can get the Tamaya for CA$13.50, which is maybe US$13. So not bad. My government-run wine store also recommended the Chocalan Carmenere to me last year. I liked it. Nice and spicy. Socialism isn't all bad I guess. 😉

  • QOD: tried a bunch, liked a bunch.

  • wesleymcallister

    I have probably had about 6 Carmeneres now. I pretty much use this wine as my “impress girls with the cool story wine”. I have fully enjoyed them for the most part but I actually really disliked the 2007 vina chocalan.

  • Cristian M.

    Not sure what you mean with your reference to socialism.

  • lvine

    As many may already aware, there was a devastating earthquake in central Chile (almost all of the wine regions were severely affected) on February 27th. I am living in Santiago and was here for the earthquake. There are thousands of people who lost homes and loved ones and that are in need of food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. If you want to help, please go to http://www.redcross.org/en/ and click on the red “DONATE NOW” button, then scroll down to select the “CHILE RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT”, and finally follow to the next page to make your monetary donation. If not through this org., please find another trustworthy organization to make your donation to. Thank you to all who can help in this way.

  • billc87

    I've had maybe 6, the best being the first, a 2004 Concha Y Toro Terrunyo. Fantastic wine. It was worth the $25 I paid.

  • wpggord

    I meant most of our wines stores in Canada are run by the government.

  • norbrook

    I really like the Orzada and Armador labels from Chile, the Carmenere is wonderful, not too pricey.

  • nwwinetaster

    Carmenere has to be one of my favorites. I first had it in the Walla Walla Valley. We make some pretty good Carmenere here in Washington.

  • Cristian M.

    Really???? So, if (for instance) Gary wants to open a wine store there… can he? does that practice extend to other kinds of goods? Just asking because it is interesting to know other countries policies.

  • Huge fan of Carmenere! Up until a few years ago, many winemakers weren't aware that this grape enjoys a long growing season (picked a couple of weeks after the Cab). They used to pick it with Merlot, so you got some really really GREEN styles. I think over the past few vintages Chile has really picked up it's game, and made some outstanding Carmeys. My fav is the MontGras Reserve Carmenere for about $11.

  • wpggord

    It varies from province to province (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquor_store#Canada). Some provinces allow only a limited number of private wine stores. Where I am (Manitoba), we have about 6 private wines stores, but they cannot undersell the government store, and all the wine they sell must be ordered through the government stores — even the products that the government stores do not carry. So I'm sure that Gary would not want to open a store here. It's totally arcane.

  • Mike in C-town

    Thanks for the hook up for the shirt website! It caught my attention immediately and I thought it was awesome….was going to ask GV where he got it.

  • Mike in C-town

    I've had two, but only one was a full bottle, the other was from a tasting. The bottle was solid but could have used a little more complexity.
    I have a Cocha y Toro Terrunyo laying down in the cellar for another shot at a carmenere.

  • Mike in C-town

    By the way Gary – love the shirt!

  • winedrinker

    I've had two of the carmenere's, one 6 and one 7 dollars and loved them both!

  • Cristian M.

    Wow… thanks for letting me know. As a side affect, probably there are a lot of “self made wine experts” working for the government. Cheers from “quaky” Chile.

  • cubs2806

    have had a few, very good on all

  • LizCol

    I'd say I've had about six Carmeneres in recent years and a nice Carmenere rose which I was excited to see. For the life of me I can't think who produced it, but I'll get back to you if I remember.

  • I have loved carmenere from the moment I first tasted it about 2 years ago when the restaurant I was working at had it on the wine list for a while. Since then I've explored the carmeneres of many different makers but it still ranks as my top grape. Recently I've gotten into Cab/Carm blends…chocolate covered cherry delight. Oh so good!

  • philanderson

    I've tried about three Carmenere's, all within the past four months. Trio Vitners, Basel Cellars and….I can't remember the third. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

  • pnord44

    I have had i think 2 carmeneres, one of which I had a hand in making. Im in WA, the carmenere was from columbia valley, and it was a very good showing of it. But I wont pretend to have a good palate for Carmenere yet, so won't judge. But the producer is Reininger Winery in Walla Walla, they make mostly bordeaux varietals like the majority of wineries in WW.

  • Weston3220

    qotd: I really do love the aromas of Caramenre just my favourite, I have had a couple and well I do enjoy them

  • DCaragher

    GV – I've had a bunch of Carms, good stuff…good value I think!

  • A dumb Rhein king

    QOTD: I've only had Carmenere at restaurants and tastings, but it is a great varietal. I don't know that I've tried a bad one.

  • richardvinifera

    QOTD: Had about five, including two from De Martino which are the best, also one from Errazuriz which was an atypical example, but in a good way, tasted more like a Cab/Merlot. I sometimes find them quite ripe but simulatenously a bit too dark for my palette, that said I do generally like Cab Franc.

  • John_Kenneth_J

    qotd: love carmenere, have had at least 6 different ones

  • amm3rd

    I have had one pure play carmenere, and a few blends. The only pure play was just ok, a little off balance, with harsh tannins. The blends have been nice…AMM

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  • I just don't know how you can judge a wine well, without sufficient aeration. You know the character of that 1865 could have changed completely if Gary had let it breathe for another 15 minutes in the glass.

    I've tried that 1865 and have to disagree. I've tried more Carmenere's than I can actually remember…but then again… I am also a wino.

  • eacarrr2

    Stumbled on to a Cab/Carmenere blend that opened up my world to Carmenere…. It was Veranda 2004. Quite soft, and almost merlot like to my palate, but easy drinking, and I like it!!

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