You’re going to need a bigger glass.
Not just because you’ll want to drink more of this wine, but because it shows much better in a glass with a large bowl. Though the carmenère grape in this Chilean wine originally came from Bordeaux (as does the parent wine company, Barons de Rothschild Lafite) you might be better off tasting it in a Burgundy glass.
Chile is the largest producer of Carmenère wine in the world, and 2019 was one of the best recent vintages.
Swirl this wine and you’ll find aromas open with plummy black cherry and an underlying clean, dry earthiness. On the palate, the wine is more restrained than you might think at 14.5% alcohol; it is tamed somewhat by a year in French oak barrels — though appropriately only 20% new oak. Fruit flavors are augmented by white pepper and accompanied by tannins and burnt-sugar along the edges. Acidity joins the tannins in a long finish.
FOOD PAIRING: Dishes such as lamb or grains with earthy and bright herbs, including cilantro, oregano and mint.
REVIEWER: Becky Sue Epstein
PRODUCER: Viña Los Vascos
WHERE: Valle de Colchagua, Chile
WHAT: 100% Carmenère
HOW MUCH: $21