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label Rio Itata (Chile) Carmenère 2000
Great grog continue to show the kind of wine-nut mentality that sets them apart, by sourcing some cracking bin-end bargains and, instead of knocking 50p off them to make a killing, passing them on at knock- down prices to a clued-in band of grog followers. Here we have a consumately juicy, rich, sweet-fruited example of Chile's ace-in-the-pack, Carmenère. The nose is filled with creamy black plum, hints of chocolate and a cedary nuance. On the palate that sumptuous ripe fruit floods across the tongue with a little cherry edge of acidity and a background of tannin to keep it sharp. Opulent, sweet and beautifully focused.
Was £5.69, now £3.99 from greatgrog.co.uk.
Make up a case with the fine Willandra Chardonnay from Australia, with its layers of buttered toast and intense tropical fruit (down £1 to £4.69) or the impossibly fruity Australian powerhouse, the Ironstone Shiraz Grenache 1998, at £5.89 (£1.10 less than the high-street).