I was buying a gift sixpack of wines for some friends who favor young, new world wines today, and it's a situation where quantity trumps quality and so I selected a bottle of this wine for that purpose. Then I remembered Wine Focus so I grabbed an extra bottle for the Gipper. Or should I say Doris.
It's about 70/30 Cab to Carmenere, and I'm surprised I like this wine. Though it's the majority, the cab isn't as recognizable ( someone who drinks Chileans often might see it differently) as the Carmenere which delivers it's usual boatload of creamy chocolatey flavors to the cab's licorice-y black fruit and cigar box notes. What stands out is the wine's balance--it's a big wine but very elegant and easy to taste, though there are some green tannins of the tongue-coating variety and they're becoming more assertive as I sip--but it's an 05 for gosh sakes, just a baby. Montes admirers will enjoy this one, and the friends who get the sixpack will think I spent more than I did (around $10 or $12). Not that I'm going to start buying $10 Chileans, but it's more deft and sopisticated than most wines in this price range.
Edit to add this comment two hours later: I should know better than to post on a wine so young and so soon after opening. The chocolate and berry flavors fast into a stream of camphor, a descriptor I didn't understand until a Buddhist monk gave me a bracelet made of camphor wood a few weeks ago. That smell has been haunting me--I knew I'd encountered it in wine, and I knew I'd run into it again and have a descriptor for something previously elusive. Well, here it is now: camphor.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov