Rapel Valley, Chile; 14% ABV
$3 at the Richmond, CA, store on 3 April
This wine looked quite promising: older, nice label, in a heavy bottle. Indeed, it’s pretty good from first pour. However, I thought it needed about 75 minutes in a decanter to open up to show softly textured flavors of red cherries, red and black raspberries (almost blackberry) with some complexities of tar, and a little green bell pepper, (The green bell pepper element lessens distinctly as the wine airs.) The wine is nicely elegant and subtly complex, and is an outstanding value at $3. However, it strikes me as perfectly aged, so don’t wait long to drink it.
The next day, the second half (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air) was at least as good. The fruit was more rich and dark, slightly more tarry. If you don’t mind the green bell pepper component, which I know is anathema to some readers, this stuff is terrific for the price. Again, just drink it pretty soon.