Thursday, July 10, 2008

No Contest

I really thought I would have a contest on my hands with these two South Americans. I have had some very good Carmen wines, especially their reserve series and I usually find them very good values also. Oops. The Chilean Carmen, Merlot, Reserve, 2005 shows raspberries and menthol on the nose. It is surprisingly light bodied - can hold up to chicken but nothing more strongly flavoured. Lots of red berry fruit but no real tannic or acidic backbone. Fun to drink as a lunch wine maybe, but it only merits an "OK" rating. Waste of money at $18.
The out and out winner in this little comparison is the Argentine O. Fournier, Beta Crux, Valle de Uco, 2003. Quite aromatic, I get baked cherry pie. Tons of character in this one - bing cherries, dates, spices - I get cardammon. Unctuous, almost thick with very smooth tannins. Wow. Much better than when I had it in Argentina last year. A steal at $20. Buy a few.
And now for the Dumbo marketing award of the year - our local wine-selling monopoly insists on hiding interesting information on bottle labels printed by the bodega because, get this, there is no French translation on it. You pay an employee to put an obscuring label over the info and then have to peel the damn thing off in the store to know what grapes you're buying....Stupidest thing I've ever seen a store do - if anything, it would STOP me from buying it rather than encourage me.



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