Carmenere is a bit of a novelty grape, distinctive and interesting, but hard to fall in love with. They tend to feel anguished and distraught even when well made, with a feral streak as if the earth were sprouting blood.
This is a rich, well-balanced version of it, produced by one of Chile’s most highly regarded wineries.
It features an intriguing nose of dark berries with prominent green olive, smoke and hints of white pepper and vanilla.
Medium bodied, the soft entre gives way to a burst of acidity at midpalate and a top layer of stony minerality that give the wine momentum. The persistent but thin layer of juicy fruit sustains the promise of elegance and opulence but it never quite delivers. The wine feels stubborn and unyielding, its characteristic bitterness on the finish tedious despite the fine grained tannins.
St. Vincent’s “Cruel” matched the momentum and the failed promise.
Notes: This winery doesn’t keep their tech sheets up to date. There is no official information on recent vintages.