RKS 2023 Wine: Can’t Go Wrong Carménère from Chile?

While Malbec may be Argentina’s signature wine Carménère may be Chile’s although why peg a country having a signature wine? It just might create stereotypes. Look at New Zealand’s “signature wine” Sauvignon Blanc. Yet should it eclipse Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Merlot from New Zealand?

What I can say so far this year is that Chile does very well with Carménère. I may have experienced a rare clunker so Chile isn’t perfect and neither can any country be perfect when it comes to producing a particular variety of wine. Here we try an Apaltagua 2017 Carménère from the Colchagua Valley.

Aroma: As is often the case with many Chilean Carménère a strong raspberry presence. Secondary notes of strawberry and black cherry.

Palate: Ripe strawberries, cola and cactus pear. Full bodied with moderate tannins. Long finish with a bit of lingering pepper.

Food Match: I will put my hand up and go Greek with this so a Oktapodi Krasato which is octopus slow cooked in both Samian muscat wine and dry red wine served over polenta. The recipe is here https://www.greekboston.com/food/octopus-braised-wine-recipe/.

Personality: I am quite a serious wine so don’t let that raspberry on the nose trick you into thinking I am somehow related to Pinot Noir! I am approachable now and make a great sipping wine but I really partner well with rich saucy foods like the octopus dish described above. Given my price I kick butt! Chile is kicking butt price and quality wise.

Cellarbility: A couple more years in the bottle will soften the wine somewhat if that’s what you like.

Price: $16.75 (Ontario).

RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 90/100. James Suckling 92.

(Apaltagua Gran Reserva Envero 2017 Carménère, Colchagua Valley, Viña Apaltagua, Curico, Chile, 750 mL, 14%, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 481010).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" 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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