I’ve put down plenty of carmenere. When I need to find a big ripe and juicy red for under ten bucks I know I can count on Chile’s national grape. I’m all about the spice and bell pepper I often get and I dig the ripe dark fruit.
When I bought this bottle of Santa Rita 120 Carmenere 2008 I was not expecting to be blown away but was anticipating a solid red to warm me up. I’ve had earlier vintages and been satisfied in this ultra low price point. I can usually count on Concha Y Toro, Calina Reserva and this 120 to deliver.
It turns out I either grew out of this wine or this was an off vintage because I wasn’t very satisfied with this wine. Simply put…it was soupy. The pepper and plum aromas were pleasant enough but the mouth feel lacked acidity. Made me think of Rachel Ray’s “thicker than a soup but thinner than a stew” bit from 30 Minute Meals.
Now I may have just grown accustomed to my cool climate wines, and as a more experienced wine drinker these days, I need that balance that acidity offers. Even for $7 I won’t be buying this particular wine again any time soon, but I will be drinking more Carmenere looking for those good buys under $10. That being said I’m sure a bottle like this would go over extremely with party guests and crowds who tend to like juicy mouth filling reds.