Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Reserva Especial Carménère, Peumo, Chile 2020

Deep purple color; raspberry, bell pepper herbaceousness, black plum, black cherry, eucalyptus, peppercorn, oak, smoke, leather, chocolate, spice on the nose and palate.

Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Reserva Especial Carménère, Peumo, Chile 2020

Dry; relaxed, round tannins and acidity (3.66 pH); medium body. Grapes come from the Peumo region on the banks of the Cachapoal River, the warm day-cold night sweet spot for carménère in Chile, the sweet spot for carménènere on the planet. Palate friendly, smooth, easy drinker on pop-and-pour. The grape was mistaken for merlot in Chile for many years, and it presents much like merlot with its subtleness and softness, although it delivers a herbaceous quality not generally associated with merlot. 14% ABV

The grape thrives in longer growing seasons with warm-to-hot days and cold nights. That is Peumo. The grape originated in Bordeaux, but it is very rare there today. It found its cynosure in Chile. Carménère is to Chile as malbec is to Argentina. Chileans long thought their carménère vines were merlot, but in 1994 DNA tests came back: nope, carménère. In this way, it is similar to malbec—largely pushed to the side in its native Old World vineyards, it found new life and achieved loftier heights in the terroir of South America. Such is the saga of wine and wine grapes throughout history.

Miguel Torres family (from website)

The Familia Torres founded the winery in 1979 in Chile. The family has produced wine in Spain for more than 150 years. They were Chilean pioneers in the use of stainless steel tanks for fermentation. All its vineyards are certified organic. They also are leaders in Fair Trade and treatment of workers, a signature of Chilean wineries. This wine finished in mostly-used barrels—5% new, 14% foudre, 81% second-use—so the carménère fruit leads the flavor parade, not toasted oak notes.

Miguel Torres Cachapoal Valley

Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Reserva Especial Carménère, Peumo, Chile 2020 is a relaxed, supple, easy drinker that will shine alongside roasted meats. Balanced with very forgiving tannins. A red wine that folks put off by tannic titans can enjoy. Very approachable carménère from the best place to make carménère on Earth. Pair with roast lamb or pork; roasted meat in general—from chicken to beef—especially spiced with cumin; barbecue; with its soft tannins, avoid rich, marbled meats; pizza, including vegetable-laden pies; Cheese—pepper jack; cheddar, pecorino, manchego, parmigiano-reggiano, grana padano; it is a very cheese-friendly wine. $18-22

Miguel Torres website

Miguel Torrest vineyard (from website)