Mon 20 Mar 2017
Whether you’re dropping a leg of lamb, studded with garlic and rosemary, on the grill or a batch of burgers, here’s a wine suited to all things roasted, grilled and charred, and I wouldn’t be surprised if myriad of the population living between the shining seas unlimbers their Webers this week. The Maquis Gran Reserva Carmenere 2014, from Chile’s Colchagua Valley, offers exactly the deep, spicy, smoky, earthy presence that we want with grilled lamb and beef, pork chops and ribs. Aged 10 months mainly in French oak, with a minority interest in stainless steel tanks, and containing a dollop of cabernet franc, the wine displays a striking dark black-purple hue that shades to a glowing fuschia rim; it’s an intense, concentrated and vigorous red wine, bursting with notes of cedar and mint, black olives and bell pepper, black currants, cherries and dusty plums. Plush, velvety tannins are infused with briers, brambles and underbrush, boldly framed by iodine and iron and bright acidity; fortunately, the wine is also downright juicy with black and blue fruit flavors, all of these elements devolving to a finish packed with graphite, lavender and bitter chocolate. 13.5 percent alcohol. Drink now through 2019 or ’20. Excellent. About $20, representing Good Value.
Global Vineyard Imports, Berkeley, Calif. A sample for review.