Monday, November 18, 2013

Wines I'm Drinking: 2010 Carmen Casablanca Valley Gran Reserva Chardonnay

When I lived in Tokyo, the wines of Carmen, one of Chile's best-known producers, were readily available and I often drank them, but I infrequently see them here, so I decided to try a bottle of the 2010 Carmen Casablanca Valley Gran Reserva Chardonnay when it showed up recently at my local Grocery Outlet. I remember Carmen as a maker of inexpensive but good-value wines, and this one was typical in that respect. Brief tasting notes follow.

A very pretty, pale gold. Looks bright and inviting. Nose is suggestive of resiny pineapple and very ripe melon with dusky floral scents (hawthorne, or pear blossom). Vanilla. Later some sappy scents. Fresh and appealing. Slightly unctuous, rich fruit on the palate tempered by bright acidity. Despite the fruit, the overall impression is one of reserve rather than opulence because of the strong acidity. A little tannic grip as well. Quite concentrated with a long finish that goes back and forth between the ripe melon flavors and the tart acidity. Hints of butterscotch at the very end. Later I was getting something spicy that put me in mind of cinnamon. Normally retails for $14-$17, but I paid $4.99 for it--and I judge it well worth the modest price.

(I have no financial connection with any producer or retailer of wine.)

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