Echeverria 2011 Carmenere “Classic Collection”

Curico Valley, Chile; 13.5% ABV
$3 at the Richmond, CA, store on 1 April

Echeverria_2011_CarmenereOn the last day of the sale (for those stores open on Easter), EHL commented on this wine:

Upon opening, the wine was a brilliant dark ruby-purple color, with a muted nose that didn’t open for about an hour, whereupon it revealed notes of blackberry, black cherry, tar, leather and espresso in both aroma and flavor.

There was also a vegetal element, that distinctly reminded me of the RLT Cabs. In fact, this wine really tastes remarkably similar to the those smooth and memorable South African Cabs.

I very much enjoyed this medium/full-bodied wine, that was nicely balanced with fruit, acid and tannins working in harmony, providing an inviting sweet and savory contrast. As to the finish, it was lingering and marked by a peppery, spicy aftertaste.

For the price of “Two-Buck Chuck,” you can get this substantive wine which received a “Silver Medal and Best Buy” designation from the Beverage Tasting Institute. While not a stunner, the ’11 Echeverria Carmenere delivers a lot of punch for the pennies and is perfect for a daily quaffer.

I picked up a case… and there are still about 10 cases left, which even post-sale presents quite the bargain!

I agree!  I finally got to my bottle, probably too late for me to go back and get more, sale or not.  My notes were: Full-bodied, darker boysenberry / blackberry, plum, darker red cherries, green bell pepper, a little tar / black pepper and caramelly earth.  Slightly rough straight out of the decanter, but smooths out very nicely in the glass.  Very nice now, after about 75 minutes in a decanter, but should hold on fine for the next year or two.

The saved half bottle (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air) was, if anything, better.  It still needed about 45 minutes in the glass, but then was darker and richer than on the first night.

7 thoughts on “Echeverria 2011 Carmenere “Classic Collection”

  1. Darrell

    I went looking for the 2011 Echeverria Carmenere and found Berkeley had two bottles and Oakland none and so went to the San Mateo peninsula and found a whole bunch at the Redwood City store, but the only thing of it was the store was charging $3.99 a bottle, a buck more than it was suppose to be. The 2008 Legado was also a buck more than other stores. I don’t like being bucked so I bought some Echeverrria Carmenere from the Palo Alto store. Will be on the lookout for more when I head east to Reno. I really do enjoy the varietal character of this wine. SF store got only two cases and it apparently went in one day.

    1. EricfromRichmond

      Hey Darrell- There was still a little under a case in Richmond yesterday and still only $3. I get the sense that Sopheap isn’t a fan of opportunist pricing.

      1. Darrell

        Thanks Eric. That’s great and I have never encountered that nickel and bucking at the store. When I get to the East Bay, the swing north can be a bit too long when my destinations are Berkeley and Oakland.

    2. Darrell

      After drinking a case of this wine, I opened a bad bottle tonight. Not sure what happened to this bottle, but it was just off in smell and taste. It had lost the varietal character I like.

  2. EHL

    Hey Darrell…glad this cheapie Chilean import that delivers big satisfied your refined palate.

    Guess I won’t have to hunt down that Anakena wine, whose name I incidentally ran across earlier while researching Rapa Niu, Chile’s outlying Polynesian island. Anakena is a famous white coral sand beach in Rapa Nui, more commonly known as Easter Island, legendary for its gigantic stone head statutes:

    1. Darrell

      I will have to check more Chilean Bordeaux varietal wines, depending on where grown. Carmenere is used with CS in Chile. Since buying GO wines, I found I like the Stellenbosch terroir also. I think Carmenere has taken to Chile as Malbec has to Argentina.

  3. Darrell

    Had a bottle tonight and concur totally with EHL’s and BW’s descriptions. Definitely a buy for me and will get some more. For those who don’t like or can’t stand that greenness, you shouldn’t bother. Quite frankly I don’t understand why Bordeaux doesn’t use this variety more in their cepage. This is way better than the Anakena bottle I just tried.


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