26/01/03 – Caliterra (Chile) Arboleda Carmenere 1999

Caliterra (Chile) Arboleda Carmenere 1999
Caliterra introduced their top of the range Arboleda label recently, named after their estate in the heart of the Colchagua Valley. Made form a selection of the best wines of the vintage, from late-harvested grapes, this Carmenere (with 3% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend) spends a year in French and American oak before bottling. Despite a hefty 14% alcohol, it is a well-balanced wine. Inky deep and purple/black in colour, the nose is decadent with mocha-coffee and dark, dried plum, prune and cedary aromas. There’s a fudge and creamy quality, but it is not excessively oaky. On the palate there is impressive concentration and smoothness, with dramatically dark blue/black fruit flavours. Tannins are chocolaty and ripe, and there is good acidity. There are good Carmeneres at around 5 – 6 (including Caliterra’s stablemate, Errazuriz), but the extra oomph here might just merit the premium. Everywine, Luvians, Partridges, Peckhams, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, £7.99