Rios de Chile Carmenère and Carmenère Reserva

The past few weeks on Facebook my newsfeed is bursting with pictures of friends camping, visiting Mickey at Disney World, mountain trails complete with water falls and even snowy vacations Then I see my wine friends flying overseas to London, Paris, Munich, South Africa and other far away destinations. Here I sit at my dining room table with the Flashback New Wave digital station playing in the living room, looking at the same four walls I look at day after day, the same trees outside my windows and I feel a little stuck. It’s been nearly a year since I traveled anywhere further than an hour and I’ve got the itch, I need to get out of Dodge and soon.
My plan this year was to travel abroad. I told my husband last year, “We’re going to Europe or South America dammit!” I’m even skipping this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference hoping we truly would make the trip. I know it’s only March but it’s not looking good. I’ve looked at airfare and I just can’t justify $2k or more for the two of us. So I have a plan and I’m doing all I can to earn sky miles now, so once again, I’m saying “Maybe next year”. Damn, how many years have I said that now?
While I won’t be traveling to far away destinations I can certainly enjoy the tastes of distant countries, at least in their wines. So this week I took a wine escape to Chile through Rios de Chile Carmenère and Carmenère Reserva. Both wines were wonderful and very affordable and currently available in NY, NJ, PA, DE, LA, IL, CA, MA, RI, CT, FL and TX.

In the glass the wine is an intense inky purple color. Lush blackberry, black cherry and  Front Line-Carmenerespicy cigar box aromas. Soft tannins and a round mouthfeel combine with plush plum on the front, vanilla mid-palate followed by a spicy peppery finish. We paired with a pork medlallion with carmalized onions and two sides, Vindaloo roasted cauliflower and chick peas and wilted kale and feta. I found the recipes on Pinterest. Click here for my Food for the Soul Board and many more delicious recipes.

Country of Origin – Chili
Region – Valle Central
Varietal – 100% Carmenère
Alcohol – 13.5%
RS – 2.3 g/l
TA – 5.08 g/l
SRP – $9.95

Carmenère Reserva
Deep ruby color in the glass. Plum, vanilla and spicy aromas. Black fruits of plum and berry flavors with a peppery finish. Smooth mouthfeel and soft tannins with a silky smoothReserve-Carmenere finish.

Country of Origin – Chili
Region – Valle Cachapoal
Varietal – 100% Carmenère
Alcohol – 14%
RS – 2.51 g/l
TA – 4.99 g/l
SRP – $14.95

We paired this one with homemade pizzas with cured pork loin, field greens and farmer’s cheese.

While viticulture in Chili dates back to the 16th century, their New World wine history began mid-nineteenth century upon the introduction of French varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère, which have remained the most popular to date.

The 1980’s saw the advent of stainless steel tanks and aging in oak barrels. What followed was an increase in quality wines allowing for a large growth in the number of wine exports. In just one decade the number of wineries increased from 12 to 70 and today Chili is the fifth largest exporter of wines and ninth largest producer.

Part of a bigger sub-region, the Cachapoal Valley is located 53 miles south of Santiago in the Cachapoal Province of Central Valley Region. Situated between the Andes the area is named after the Cachapoal River. The climate is similar to the Mediterranean, sheltered by the mountain range and cooled by the Pacific Ocean providing optimal conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère.

This is from the PR packet I received: “Rios de Chile’s philosophy regarding handling of the grapes is to try to achieve maximum balance on each vine, always looking for the quality and identify of the wines. It is, then, a true reflection of the Cachapoal Valley’s diverse terroir, home to most of their estate vineyards and 30 minutes from both 6000 feet elevation and the ocean.”

So for now, I’ll have to be content with staying put on my home soil. My husband and I do have one trip planned for Tennessee and we just decided yesterday to plan a long weekend in Savannah. It’s not South America or Europe but I won’t have to worry about a dip in my savings account for either trip.

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About Kellie Stargaard

Wine blogger
This entry was posted in Chili, Red wine, Wines under $10, Wines under $15 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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