£8.04 (on offer), Ocado
I was going to recommend Veramonte's spicy, velvet-textured Carmenère anyway, but there's even more reason to do so now it's on offer, down from £11.49 until 16 March. Alongside the inviting fresh bay-leaf spiciness, typical of Carmenère, a whiff of violets drifts over generous red fruit, streaks of capsicum, smoked paprika and coffee (three more of the grape variety's trademarks) and a clean, slightly salty, savoury finish.
Veramonte's Carmenère vineyards are in Marchigüe, a cooler part of Colchagua than further inland, and they're certified sustainable as well as organic. The wine, which is vegan, is fermented with native yeasts and aged in neutral oak barrels for 8 months.
Carmenère is big in Chile, but until 1998 its wine was all sold as Merlot. It was officially recognised as a grape variety only after DNA analysis showed what was actually in the country's vineyards: an old Bordeaux variety that had all but disappeared from Bordeaux in the phylloxera pandemic of the late nineteenth century.
It goes well with pork and other meats and is good with spices. I enjoyed it with pork chops flavoured with garlic, tarragon, caraway and Madeira; with butter-wilted spinach and roast red peppers, aubergine and onion; and with chicken tikka masala. 14%.
Veramonte Organic Carmenère Reserva 2019, Colchagua, Chile
£8.04 until 16 March, then £11.49, Ocado; £9.54, Templar Wines
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