J. Bouchon Canto Norte 2012

J. Bouchon Canto Norte 2012: Mahogany color; cherry, red fruit, herbs on the nose; cherry, tart cherry, spice, plum, redcurrant tang and spice bite on the finish;

dusty tannins, virtually no oak, juicy flavors with focus. Austerity and minerality pushes this effort into the Bordeaux style for experienced palates rather than being a lip-smacking easy drinker. Mostly merlot, with carmenère, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon contributing to this Chilean Maule Valley value. Julio Bouchon’s great-grandfather (Emile Bouchon) emigrated to Chile from Saint Emilion, the right-bank, merlot territory of Bordeaux; this wine comes from the right bank of the Maule River, which is north and thus the name (Canto Norte = northern edge). The winery also makes a cab-based Bordeaux blend called Canto Sur; it comes from the left bank, or southern side of the river. The Maule River flows chiefly westward and cuts Chile roughly in the middle; it marked the southern limits of the Inca Empire; it plays a central role in Chilean folklore, culture, religion, politics, and economy, and is Chile’s major wine production region. The family-run business is fully committed to sustainability, including a water recycling plant, lighter bottles, and twist-cap closures. Nice effort; Bordeaux red blend with a Chilean twist. $18-20 J. Bouchon Canto Norte