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2011 Estate Organic Carmenere

De Martino

Posted on May 28th, 2013

If you asked us a year ago to name the wine region that would be the most popular with our subscription members, we would not have made the correct guess. Though the offers from wineries closer to home rank a very near second, none has topped the response received from our Chilean offerings. Surprised? We were too, until we dissected the rationale further. The Chilean wine industry has a rich and interesting history, heavily influenced by Italian and French winemakers seeking an area with looser regulation in comparison to the strict DOC and AOC laws. Beyond looser regulation, the appeal of Chile stems from its bounty of ideal growing regions, capable of imparting a sense of place and terroir expression in the wine. As consumers, we are not only drawn to Chile's rich history and the commitment to representing a specific location, but also to the value for dollar in the wine coming out of the region, which is arguably better than any other in the world.

Today's offer fits this description perfectly. Italian winemaker Don Pietro De Martino Pascualone relocated to Chile's Maipo Valley in 1934, where he founded De Martino winery. Now run by the family's third and fourth generations, the winery remains committed to achieving supreme terroir expression, their vineyard sites carefully chosen based on climate and soil types with specific varietal characteristics in mind. Lastly, De Martino's value for dollar measurement ranks outstanding on our scale, delivering organically cultivated and harvested estate grown wine for under $15.

De Martino's devotion to the Carmenere grape spurred our decision to give their Estate Organic Carmenere center stage in today's offer. As you may recall from information provided in a prior Carmenere offer, the grape was mistaken for Merlot for many years, harvested too early and with underwhelming results. De Martino registered the grape in the mid-1990s and was the first winery in Chile to export a single-varietal bottling of Carmenere.

2011 De Martino Estate Organic Carmenere - $13.99 (warehouse pick-up: $11.99)

De Martino's Estate Organic Carmenere is aged with minimal oak influences, just 30% of the juice held in French oak barrels for 12 months, the rest in stainless. An inviting nose of red berries mixed with spice and charred pepper notes gives way to a well-balanced, approachable palate that is spicy and rustic, with a solid core of red fruit and a dry finish. A great match for red meat on the barbeque this summer - from simple burgers to smoked brisket.

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