Santa Rita ‘Winemakers Lot’ Carmenere-Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon
January 15, 2015 § 1 Comment
Score: 8.7 – Over Delivers
Price: $13.99 ($10.99 On Sale)
About the Wine: This blend is very much the Chilean improvement on a classic Bordeaux blend. Full disclosure: Carmenere is my go to varietal out of Chile.
The nose shows generous plum, blueberry, red currant, cocoa, mint and black pepper. The colour is dark purple, making it look like a behemoth of a wine. The palate is full and complete and shows layers of complexity of flavour and texture. The finish is juicy, spicy and of medium length. For $10.99 this is an awesome buy, at $13.99 I think it Over Delivers.
I should also make clear that this wine is exclusive to Everything Wine.
Value: I can’t say how long this wine will remain in stock. My guess is that once it is gone it won’t return for a while. With that in mind I would save myself a buck or two from any Chilean, Argentine Bordeaux Blend, California Cab & Cab Merlot, and any similarly priced BC Cab blend. It should go without saying that this wine is well worth the trade up from under $9.99 Cabs and Cab blends especially when on sale.
Added Value: This wine shines if you are looking for a value priced wine to serve the masses (Crowd Pleaser, Wedding Wine), but is also spectacular for when the Foodies come over, Date Night, Movie Night and of course BBQ.
More To The Story: Carmenere used to be a key ingredient in Bordeaux blends. In fact Merlot wasn’t considered good enough to place in the official Bordeaux blend, that is until phylloxera wiped out Carmenere in France.
Just prior to the phylloxera epidemic in France, Chilean landowners overthrew their Spanish overlords with the assistance of the French. Instead of travelling to Spain, the landowners would now go to France. Many brought back clippings of vines to plant on their own estates. Prior to 1994 Carmenere was thought to have been extinct, until it was discovered to be thriving amongst the ‘Merlot’ vineyards of Chile by Alvaro Espinoza. DNA tests show that the Carmenere vines found by Senor Espinoza can be traced directly back to the original clippings brought back from France in the 19th century.
With the re-discovery of Carmenere in Chile, Chile had found its defining grape. However there was a cost. Prior to 1994 Chilean Merlot was highly sought after for its juicy character. It was discovered that Carmenere is what gave Chilean Merlot its soul. Once Carmenere was separated from Merlot, the quality and value of Chilean Merlot suffered greatly.
Service: This wine should be served at room temperature,thus just twist off the cap and let it flow. I love this wine with a simple grilled steak, or a meat lovers pizza.
Grapes: Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Store Section: Chile
Appellation: Central Valley
Available: Everything Wine
Buy Online: Everything Wine
Alcohol: 13 %
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