Sunday Sippers: Single Vineyard Carmenere from Errazuriz

I often like to write about wines from countries other than Italy on the weekends. It has become a habit and one I plan to continue this fall. One country that I definitely don’t write enough about is Chile. I visited that beautiful country in 2008 and had a marvelous trip.

I loved Chile and have found through the years that their wines become ever more enticing while remaining a good value. It also helps that I like their signature variety, Carmenere.

As part of my Sunday sippers series I like to write about wines that cost less than $20, a perfect price point for a weekend wine with a Sunday night dinner.

This one is from Errazuriz and is their Single Vineyard Carmenere from the Aconcagua Valley. Aconcagua is quite close to Santiago, the nation’s capital and is a hot valley located between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The elevations vary considerably throughout the valley and there are different micro-climes and continuous breezes that protect the health of the grapes. Carmenere, originally from France, has really flourished in Chile. A late ripening grape, it does well in soils that aren’t that fertile, otherwise it can overproduce and risks making wines with herbaceous green notes, It needs dry conditions and good draining soils.

This producer makes other more well-known wines with Carmenere but this is my Sunday sipper and I am very happy with my choice.

I had it looking out at the bay with a very old group of family friends that I have known my whole life. As we watched the seals frolicking below and ate baked chicken, this 100% Carmenere was a perfect pairing. Subtle spicy and pepper notes with siky tannins and juicy red fruit flavors were a great complement and a nice transition from a summer of mostly whote and rose wines. As the weather turns colder, I will miss those lighter wines but look forward to enjoying great red wines and the pairings that I love in the fall season.

I bought this wine at Jerry’s, a gournet food and wine shop in New Jersey but you can find it here on wine-searcher.com.

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