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wine of the week 26/04/2009

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   Doña Dominga, Reserva Carmenère Shiraz 2006
A few years ago I visited Chile to judge the 'Concours of Carmenère' where I tasted hundreds of single-varietal and blended wines and concluded that in many cases blending with another grape to soften Carmenère's tendency towards green, stalky character was not a bad idea. Here, the Colchagua Valley fruit delivers an abundant raspberry and cherry juiciness on the nose, with a little glimpse of Syrah white pepper and a touch of chocolate and spice. The palate is firm, with a fairly hard, rustically chewy edge to the tannins, but the broad plummy weight of the fruit persists through the mid-palate, and this wine finishes with the fruit holding up against the spicy character and rather lean, savoury tannins that suggest it would be best with a juicy steak or other robust dishes. £6.99, Waitrose