Is it Chile in here, or is it just me?

This month, Wine Blogging Wednesday‘s host, Tim of Cheap Wine Ratings challenged us to find a Chilean Red under $20.  Not having had many Chilean wines period, I was curious so I headed over to good old Cost Plus (World Market to you crazy people on the East Coast) and picked up two red blends.

The first is the 2005 Nomad Red Wine, from the Central Valley region.  This is actually an effort by a California winemaker, known for his efforts at Domaine Carneros.  TJ Evans, who partnered with two other meandering winemakers, Jeffrey Jarvis, a small vineyard owner here in California, and Jessica Tomei who is the importer.

The blend of Cabernet Sauvingon, Syrah, Carmenere and a touch of Malbec grapes was produced from grapes from all over Chile, but primarily Maipo Valley.  This is a very big wine.  It is inky black in the glass, and very earthy.  The smokey character of the Malbec & Carmenere really show through.  I am tasting a lot of smokey meats, and blue fruit like ripe plums as well as tobacco and a touch of leather sprinkled with black pepper and allspice.

This wine was $13.99 at Cost Plus and for the money, it was a great buy with excellent QPR.  If you like a big Bordeaux style blend, I would highly recommend it, especially with a meat dish for dinner.

The second wine that I piced up was another red blend.  Hey, I was on a theme!  This was also from Cost Plus, and was $11.99.  The 2005 Calcu is a blend of 60% Cab Sav, 20% Cab Franc, and 20% Carmenere.  According to their label, a Calcu is a magician, and the magic is here in this interesting blend from the Colchagua Valley region of Chile.

This blend also has a very dark purple color, and has a dusty blackberry characteristic that I attribute to the Cab Franc.  Smokey meat flavors are held firmly by the tannins.  The finish on this wine keeps on going and going and going!  There is a lot of anise immediately on the first sip, followed by roasted figs.  There is an olive like end note that pops up after you think all of the flavor is gone.  There is some oak on the wine but it is not overpowering.

I will keep looking for great buys from Chile and I encourage you to RUN not walk to pick up the Nomad!



6 Responses to “Is it Chile in here, or is it just me?”

  1. Tim Says:

    Thanks for participating in Wine Blogging Wednesday. I tried the 2004 Nomad and enjoyed it as well. Good stuff.

  2. Dale Cruse Says:

    What cheese would you pair with this, Thea? 😉

  3. Red Hot Chilean Wine! « Lusciouslushes’s Blog Says:

    […] focused on value red wines from Chile ofr under $20.  You can read all about my picks over here.  Given the current economic climate, we are all looking for value wines, and I thought it would […]

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  5. Spotlight on: Chile « Lusciouslushes’s Blog Says:

    […] Is it Chile in here, or is it just me? Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Red Hot Chilean Wine!My opinion of Chilean wines so far.Chile is no longer an underdog!Prelius, A New Organic Wine From Italy […]

  6. Chilè is HOT! « Lusciouslushes’s Blog Says:

    […] Chilè is HOT! Posted on May 26, 2009 by winebratsf I’ve been talking a lot recently about value wines, and where you can find good value and good wine.  Chile happens to be one such place.  I’ve written about that here, here, here and here.  Oh yeah, and here too. […]

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