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Dona Dominga (Chile) Carmenere Gran Reserva 2003
This Gran reserva sets out its stall from the beginning with a huge, heroically heavy, broad-shoudered bottle. From hand-picked vines in the Los Lingues vineyard of the Colchagua Valley, 80 per cent of the wine was aged for one year in French oak barriques. It has a dramatically dark, crushed crimson velvet colour, and an astonishingly intense nose, with the essence of bright cherry, kirsch and violets soaring from the glass before a deeper, plum, spice and chocolate character starts to emerge. On the palate it just floods over the mouth with massively concentrated, creamy fruit. The combination of its full, generous texture and the sweetness and ripeness of fruit is almost overwhelming. Gradually, the coffee bean and dark chocolate qualities of the oak and supple, sweet tannins begin to fill in and add support, with a grippy quality just as it finishes. Cherry acidity and a structured framework of tannins and dark fruit add heft and length. This is a take-no-prisoners style of wine, cramming massive amounts of just about everything into the bottle and is certainly an experience! 9.99 from Oddbins, The regular old-vines Carmenère/Cabernet is less impressive, but easier to drink at 4.99 from Oddbins