Errazuriz Estate Reserva Carmenere 2011

It’s been a long week. I just got back from the beer tasting at Wine World. I was in the mood for another brew but I can’t drink too many brews and keep my girlish waistline. Okay, get real Dan, I just don’t want my waistline to expand any more than it has already been expanded.

Mrs. Dan pulled this one out of the rack. I was saving it because I wanted to have time to think and write a thoughtful review. But she kind of pushed me into the deep end on this one. I had to sample it before it was gone. I thought I had paid under $10 for this wine but my memory got jogged and I paid $14.99 for this at Vineyard Wine Market. More than I normally pay for a bottle. I think I was trying to impress Mrs. Dan.

The two grapes I always gravitate to are Zinfandel and Carmenere. I like Zins because they are a true American grape. I’m attracted to Carmenere because it’s known as the Lost Grape. I like the idea that a grape that was almost lost to the world was hiding out in Chile waiting to be rediscovered. (Google it to find the full story. I’m just surprised the French chose to let such a delicious grape go away after they fought back from phylloxera. They say this is a difficult grape to use because it ripens later than other grapes). Just because a grape has been lost for 100 years doesn’t make it a good wine. I have to admit I’ve had some bad ones that were way too acidic but this is not one of them.

To me this wine has some nice dark fruit flavors that produces a very nice smooth mouthfeel. I can relax with a glass of this wine. There is a bit of an acid uptick on the finish. I also like the nice oak aromas of this wine.

I found a review by Mike Steinberger on Slate where he pretty much trashed all Chilean Carmeneres. I guess my palate is different or they’ve improved since he wrote his story back in 2010.

After visiting the Errazuriz website I see that they work with this wine because “The wine was aged for eight months in first-, second-, and third-use French and American oak barrels to round out the wine and add texture to the palate. Once the final blend was achieved, the wine was cold
stabilized and lightly filtered before bottling.”

They describe it as : “A deep red-colored wine with violet tones and aromatic expression that reflects a balance of varietal aromas including sweet spices, roasted peppers, and floral notes such as violets. The palate is intense, with smooth, friendly tannins and a pleasant, balanced acidity that leads to an enjoyable and refreshing finish.”

I think the tannins could be a bit less friendly with some foods. But it is nicely balanced. If it has lasted the evening I would have liked to try it tomorrow night after it has opened a bit. That didn’t happen.

All and all, a nice little wine.
From: Chile
Winery: Errazuriz
Year: 2011


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