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Monday, December 9, 2013

Santa Rita Medalla Real 2008 Gran Reserva Carmenere, D.O. Colchagua Valley, Chile

Red Cross 2013 008

This bottle caught my attention while in Churchill’s to pick up a muffin after my morning workout. Carmenere is the spotlight grape for Chile and Santa Rita is a producer that delivers full flavor at a great price.

About $20 is the going price for this bottle, but it was on sale for an amazing $6.99. I didn’t need to ask more questions – the Santa Rita was soon in my shopping bag along with my muffin and yogurt.

Colchagua is closer to Chile’s low and rolling Coastal Range than to the higher Andes. It benefits from cooling breezes that blow in directly from the sea. Marchigue and Apalta are the two vineyards selected for this wine. The Santa Rita is 14.5% alcohol and is aged in oak for 10 months.

For me the best Carmenere is lush and flavorful. Upon first sip, the wine seemed tight – even after we aerated it. The mouth-drying tannins were very evident. As we sipped and it opened up, the flavors began to beam through, with distinct herbal and toasted oak notes. Vanilla and light cherry flavors were background singers.

This didn’t strike the right chord with Green Dragon, but it was an acceptable wine for me. The next night I decanted the remaining wine, which we had refrigerated. For an hour, it was decanted and it made a positive and noticeable difference. The tannins were dialed down and the earth and herbs receded into the background and the red fruit and chocolate tastes were dialed up.

We recommend that you try this with a steak or barbeque rather than sipping on its own.  Let it decant for 30 to 60 minutes to let it loosen up.

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Rating: 2 of 5  Value: 5 of 5 (based on my $6.99 purchase price)

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1 comment:

Josh Kessler said...

I picked up this same bottle over the weekend at Anderson's market. Cellartracker has a drink by 2016 date. I think I'll let it sit another year yet. Thanks!