MATT'S WINE NOT! QUEULAT CARMENERE 2008 CHILEAN RED WINE

Greetings once again all wine connoisseurs (if you're one of those, why are you reading this!?), wine appreciators, and booze hounds alike, welcome back to the 124687th re-launch of Matt's Wine Not!  Yes it's been a while, and as usual, I have no good excuses! So why waste your time or mine any more, let's get to the wineeeeeeeeeeeee.  (And yes, that's me taking a pic in the wine glass and bottle - a good photographer I am not.)

I'll admit, I haven't been the greatest fan of South American wines - many are often spicy, and on their own (meaning not consumed with food), they aren't as cracked up as some other wines I've had.  (But that's just me - I'm not a spicy kinda guy!)  Carmenere is a variety of grape found chiefly in South America, and I've reviewed only one other bottle of wine made with this grape, and gave it an average score (2 3/4 out of 4).  So, whilst in my local Lickbo, I came across this one, and thought to give this grape another run - and I'm glad I did!

As an "FYI," the wine is made by Ventisquero, which has been in the biz for almost 12 years, and has been aged in French oak (yum).  Its name, in case you were wondering, was derived thusly: "Queulat wines take their name from southern Chile's most spectacular hanging glacier, a sight that is both imposing and elegant."  Thanks to their website, at http://www.ventisquero.com for that tidbit of info!

Now!  Wine time!  At a whopping 14.5% alcohol/volume, this naturally corked beauty poured a lovely deep blood, crimson red - perfect for Hallowe'en (which was the day I first popped this one open)!  (Oh, and I chilled it for 10 minutes or so before pouring *nod*.)

The nose was very robust, featuring notes of raisin, cherry, and spice, and dark berry - it was very deep, not unlike some ridiculous philosophy books I had to read during university...but this is far more interesting (and fun!).

But the test is in the taste, and it passed with flying colours.  It had a full bite, and was rich, fruity, deep, dark, with more dark berry and cherry flavours, which really masked the dryness present.  There was no bitterness or real dryness of any note until the very back aftertaste.  The flavour was so full and enveloping, it was almost jammy.*

*DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend spreading this wine on toast.  It may, however, go great with a peanut butter sandwich; who the hell knows!
My friend the website, which is of course infinitely more educated than I, presents these tasting notes:

"This cherry red carménère with burgundy notes showcases...a bouquet charged with ripe black and red fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, redcurrant, strawberries and cherries, enhanced with spicy notes....with touches of chocolate, coffee and tobacco. The mouth offers a rich structure, well-balanced and full-bodied...tannins...with an aftertaste evoking chocolate and tobacco."

So, who ya gonna believe?  Them, or me?? (My money is on them.  And of course, LCBO.com offers more tasting notes as well!)

In any case, whomever you believe, and whatever you taste, this wine changed me around on not only South American wines, but Carmenere as well.  This was a beautiful bottle, powerful, full, absorbing, and damn tasty.  Viva Queulat!

***1/2 out of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$17.95 (US$17.62).

From LCBO.com:

VENTISQUERO QUEULAT GRAN RESERVA CARMÉNÈRE 2008, 750 mL bottle
  • LCBO/Vintages #243386
  • Wine, Red Wine
  • 14.5% Alchol/Vol.
  • Sugar Content: XD
  • Made in: Maipo Valley, Chile
  • By: Vina Ventisquero Ltda.





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