2005 Calina Carmenere Reserva

Price: $6.99 @ The Wine Club imported by Sovereign Wine Imports

What They Said:

Per The Wine Club monthly newsletter, “Perhaps Waterloo was not the only catastrophe that France had to suffer. There are some who say that the loss of Carmenere, due to the first phylloxera epidemic in Bordeaux, changed the make-up of those wines in a negative way. That may be true for if they had replanted Carmenere perhaps they could have made a wine of this caliber. Chile is a string of agricultural valleys each with unique soils and micro climates. The Maule Valley where this wine hails is quickly becoming the go-to area for big, opulent red wines. This one is no exception. Loaded with blackberry, and cassis flavors it has persistent flavors of coca, cedar, and walnuts. A very approachable palate not unlike Merlot, which it has often been mistaken for. A real treat and clearly a go-to wine for the more relaxed afternoons ahead”. – David Goodwin, San Francisco

What I Think:

I grabbed this bottle the same evening I had a disappointing experience with the Chianti. Given my only experience with Carmenere, my expectations were certainly high. For a while, I had been meaning to invest in a more expensive bottle to see how good it can get. In the meantime I grabbed this one a week or so back at the wine club and opened it expecting good things.

Survey says…No. Not that this was a bad wine. It had to deal with my expectations which it had no interest in. I was expecting dark, pure fruit flavors but there was nary a note of this in the bouquet. On the nose you got heavy doses of toasted oak with a hint of cinnamon. My initial impression on the palate was that of vegetal flavors I couldn’t pinpoint them and wasn’t even so sure I wanted to try. I gave up on this wine pretty quickly wondering me what convinced me to buy it. It was Carmenere but I think it had a flashy in store write-up as well, if I make it back I’ll have to check. Given the lackluster effort I thought maybe it could be a vintage issue but nope; same as the Casillero del Diablo. The good news is that at least now I know that I don’t like all Carmenere.

Rating: Skip It