RKS Wine: Affordables Under $20: “Primus The Blend” at $19.95 CDN

“Primus the Blend 2018” is a Chilean Wine available at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for $19.95.

On the nose a certain degree of lightness. Nothing too concentrated or heavy despite the fact there is a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenére with Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Notes of fresh cherry, raspberry, blackberry and milk chocolate. In short you aren’t being bowled over by a big and bold nose. If I could describe the nose I would say cheerful.

But what do you get on the palate? Moderate tannins give the wine some presence. So if the nose is cheerful the tannins ground it a bit to avoid it from being a flitty wine. There are notes of cherry, ripe raspberry and Santa Rosa plum. The fruit is deeply ingrained in the wine but not enough to hide itself. There is a certain roughness to the palate but not coarse. Light on the nose and much more introverted on the palate making this a delicious wine which is not a phrase you’ll hear often from me. I might even call it beguiling or a tad schizophrenic on the palate it is lighthearted and happily trying to convince you it is a lightweight. As my late Portuguese diplomat friend J would have said in a very diplomatic but charming way the wine is “complicated”! Very well made and a cut above so many look alike reds that are good but almost indistinguishable from each other. Unlike many Chilean reds there is also no hint of mint to this. I think each of the gapes has lost their identity in the blend except for the Petit Verdot which gives it a slightly spicy and devious twist. Yes I think Samantha has “Bewitched” me on this one.

While this one is a good sipper I am going to go out of the norm of matching it with beef or lamb and venture to say I would give it a try with Icelandic Cod Japanese style curry with its slight sweetness. A unique curry (try S&B curry blocks) paired with a unique wine. It will either be a divine match or a bomb. Years ago I had a little leftover Merlot with some of this cod curry and was blown away by such synchronicity particularly facing the adage that red wine and fish rarely match.

Given the tannins and the devious tendency of the fruit to crouch behind the bushes I would venture to say this will begin to hit its stride in late 2022 and fade delightfully until 2027.

(Primus The Blend 2018, Apalata Colchagua Valley, Veramonte, Casablanca, Chile, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 712463, 13.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 92/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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