(2010) An independent winery marketed by Concha y Toro in the UK, where former CyT winemaker Max Weinlaub is in charge. This is 75% Carmenère, and has a very tight, focused, blackcurrant and graphite nose with teasing glimpses of chocolate and slightly earthy, herby notes. On the palate it is a big wine (14.5%) with a full attack of super-sweet, undiluted cassis fruit and firm, spicy and juicy tannins, It is perhaps a touch too oaky and extracted in the finish for my taste, lacking just a little dimension, but it is impressive, decisive stuff.
(2010) The second wine from Viña Maipo is a fairly unusual blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah, weighing in with 14.5% alcohol. There's an authentic Syrah whiff of Smokey bacon on the nose, the charry barrel and the meaty, spicy fruit melding nicely. On the palate this is very concentrated and intense with a firm backbone of tannin and plum skin, bittersweet fruit. It is probably a bit too big for its own boots in a way, those slightly aggressive tannins, big oak and the firmness unrelenting, so just lacking a touch of charm. There's great fruit and a potentially terrific wine in there, but it just needs to pull back 20% or 30% on everything basically.