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Chileno (Chile) Carmenère "Gold" 2005
This Carmenère (with 15 per cent Merlot in the blend) comes from the Maipo Valley, thought to be the first place the variety was planted by French settlers in the 19th century. After stainless steel fermentation, the wine spent 10 months in American oak barrels. The "Gold" designation represents Chileno's reserve level wines, and just to add more heavy metal to the imagery, the wine has recently picked up a silver medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards. It has a beguiling nose, that is intensely creamy, with blueberry pie and juicy blackcurrant notes, and a smooth sheen of tobacco and cedary spices. On the palate it offers a big, lush, mouthfilling flood of ripe berry fruit: this has real decadence and creamy-textured weight, with plenty of spice and coffee adding depth and richness, and a soft structure of supple tannins and low acidity giving a plush, velvety character. It has masses of fruit concentration to power through the finish, in a joyous and impressive red at a very modest price. 5.99 Somerfield.