A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Guide To $15 Wine – A Kosher Chilean Carmenere

We have done lots of Chilean wines, most of them inexpensive. Today’s offering comes from the major wine producing area of Chile’s Central Valley. It stems (no pun intended) from the Lontue Valley some 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) south of Santiago, the nation’s capital. The Korta family has been in the wine business since 1998. Their vineyards occupy 120 hectares (a tad under 500 acres). You might want to visit their web site (the company name is Bodega y Vinedos Korta Bucarey Limitada) for lots and lots of information about planting methods and technical management of vineyards. Carmenere is Chile’s signature red grape, which was heavily grown in Bordeaux until the lice (phylloxera) wiped it out. The companion wine is a somewhat cheaper Chilean Carmenere.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Terroso Carmenere Kosher for Passover 2011, 13.5% alcohol about $12.

There were no marketing materials so let’s start with my sight translation of the back label. A wine with an intensive ruby color and the aromas of cherries and prunes. It is fruity in the mouth with the light touch of leather and menthol. It is rich in sugary ripe fruit and round tannins, balanced, and complex. And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine offered no tannins and was short on acidity. Japanese rice crackers with Wasabi peas sharpened the liquid’s acidity and I did get some plums. The initial meal centered on a chili that was made with spicy salsa, served over rice. The drink responded with forward acidity, good length, and tasty plums. The side dish of zesty guacamole rendered Carmy round but without much acidity or tannins. Fresh blueberries for dessert slightly soured this libation, and there wasn’t much fruit.

The next meal focused on home-made sauteed chicken breast nuggets. Our Chilean friend was long but rather thin and first but did thicken afterwards. I also noted a touch of chocolate. The side dish consisted of a mixture of slow-cooked barley, chickpeas, with potatoes and onions that had been cooked slowly alongside beef. In response the wine came out thin. Acidic grape tomatoes overwhelmed their fermented non-cousins. When I downed some fresh strawberries I noted that there was relatively nothing in my glass.

My final meal started with a matzo ball soup that rendered the libation sweet with oak in the background. The main dish was a cheese-less lasagna cooked with peas and green olives that made our Chilean friend dark with a wisp of sweetness and imparted refreshing, grease cutting acidity.

Final verdict. I have never been a fan of Carmenere. And this drink did absolutely nothing at all to make me change my mind. Perhaps if I could find a Bordeaux offering.

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