If you’re grilling beef or lamb this week (or smoking ribs), snatch a bottle of the Arboleda Merlot 2005, from Chile’s Casablanca Valley, arboleda_merlot.jpg from a shelf. This sleek beauty teems with black currents and black cherries, leather and violets, cedar and black olive, the latter an attractive note that we rarely encounter in merlots from California. This is a really well-made merlot; it’s vibrant and resonant with plenty of personality for the price. In the mouth, those black fruit flavors deepen with spice and minerals, with grainy tannins and polished oak, from 14 months in barrels, 51 percent French/49 percent American and about 70 percent new. The wine is full-bodied and firm without being unforgiving; in fact, the texture is so dense and chewy that it almost feels viscous. It makes you glad to be drinking it. Now through 2010 or ’11. Very good+ About $19.

Visit arboledawines.com.

Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons, New York.