(2019) The latest vintage of Seven Springs Pinot, which until the 2012 vintage was labelled as 'young vines', but now with more years under their belts that epithet is dropped. It pours a lovely pale- to medium garnet colour, and has a soft, briary character on the nose, a little curl of woodsmole and small red berry fruit. In the mouth there's plenty of edge to this, with firm tannins and a keen raspberry acidity, the medium-weight fruit and touch of background oak giving some mid-palate flesh. A fine, food-friendly Pinot from Seven Springs.
(2018) Carmen was one of my first go-to Chilean producers, thanks largely to a wine called 'Grand Vidure', a real favourite of mine in the 1990s, and one of the first wave of Carmenere-based wines before the variety became established as Chile's 'signature' grape. Here we have Carignan, one of Chile's current superstar grapes thanks to old-vine plantings, this aged 12 months in French oak. There's an interesting melange of meat-stock cherry and vine fruit on the nose, a dark and savoury character. In the mouth it's very much about the fruit, quite sinewy and chewy, the oak well into the background, with a balanced savoury finish.