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Caliterra (Chile) Arboleda Carmènere 1999
Caliterra introduced their top of the range Arboleda label recently, named after their estate in the heart of the Colchagua Valley. Made form a selection of the best wines of the vintage, from late-harvested grapes, this Carmènere (with 3% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend) spends a year in French and American oak before bottling. Despite a hefty 14% alcohol, it is a well-balanced wine. Inky deep and purple/black in colour, the nose is decadent with mocha-coffee and dark, dried plum, prune and cedary aromas. There's a fudge and creamy quality, but it is not excessively oaky. On the palate there is impressive concentration and smoothness, with dramatically dark blue/black fruit flavours. Tannins are chocolaty and ripe, and there is good acidity. There are good Carmèneres at around 5 - 6 (including Caliterra's stablemate, Errazuriz), but the extra oomph here might just merit the premium. Everywine, Luvians, Partridges, Peckhams, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, £7.99