Montes Carmenere Limited Selection 2010

montes carmenerr I’m on a Carmenere binge. There are worse fetishes aren’t there?

Last week I noted the Apaltagua Carmenere had its characteristic wild herbal notes tamed until the bitter finish reminded me of what I was drinking. This week’s Carmenere, also from Colchagua, is even more thoroughly house-trained. The Chileans really are trying to make this grape presentable.

No feral vegetables and only muted bitter notes on the finish. No wonder for many years the Chileans thought Carmenere was Merlot. This new breed of Carmenere is bringing out the Merlot-like character of the grape.

Black cherry, smoke, and black pepper are prominent aromas on the nose; chocolate completes the flavor profile on the round, shapely, medium body palate. The finish is peppery and longer than is characteristic of Carmenere due to more substantial tannins than is typical.

Montes makes the iconic Purple Angel, a high end ($60) Carmenere that takes the comparison with new world Merlot even further, with a big body and ample cigar box fumes due to the 18 months in new French oak. The Limited Selection, with only 70% of the juice 6 months in French Oak, lacks the depth and dimension of the Purple Angel but at $16 still has a touch of elegance and nuance. A good bargain.

But I am missing that never-know-what-you-will-get quality of traditional Carmenere.

Score: 88

Price: $16

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