When it is a matter of Chilean Carménère if you can’t do it right go home. The Chileans more often than not vint top rate Carménère. You come to expect a quality red wine with a bottle of Carménère. From my perspective to date raspberry and strawberry notes are a possible tip off to high quality Carménère and no I am not talking about Pinot Noir. It’s a bit like Cabernet Franc in Ontario in the sense that one can almost count on a decent bottle of Ontario Cabernet Franc and if you don’t get one well the winemaker ought to go home.
Now I have put my foot in my mouth by daring to make any comparison of Pinot Noir to Carménère so read no further but I’ll try a Primus 2019 Carménère from the Colchagua.
Aromatics: Should I be worried with the absence of raspberry and strawberry? On the nose loads of black cherry and blackberry with figs and dark chocolate. Rich and alluring.
Palate: Smooth and supple with light tannins. Blackberry rules but thank goodness not jammy. Some Balkan cherry nectar. A hint of pepper. Full bodied but agile and light footed.
Personality: You might take me for a complicated intellectual full of unintelligible vocabulary and back off thinking I am out to bamboozle you. But hoist a glass of me and you will find me serious with much to say but I am at heart simple, pure and true. The pure will be my organic parentage.
Food Match: Barbeque Hoisin Blackberry Ribs. And you though blackberries were only a breakfast starter or ingredients in a dessert.
Cellarbility: Drinking so beautifully now why bother ageing this wine. It will perhaps marginally improve in the bottle over the next two years. Drink by the end of 2026.
In a nutshell: A black fruit personality. Full bodied but smooth and very pure. Organic wines often display a purity of fruit evident in this wine. This wine was done just right so nobody must go home. If this wine is going anywhere it should be in your home.
Price: $19.95 (Ontario).
RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 93/100. TimAtkin.com 93.
(Primus 2019 Organic Carménère, D.O. Apalta Colchagua, Alto de Casablanca, Casablanca, Chile, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 439356, 750 mL, 14%).