As a followup to Friday's review, here's another Chilean red wine I had the chance to try recently. The 2008 Terranoble Gran Reserva Carménère comes from the Maule Valley. $14, 14% abv. 96% Carménère, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.
I like Carménère, but my favorite wines from the grape have been more blended. I was expecting some big green pepper aromas, but this wine surprised me with its complexity. Rich dark chocolate and cassis notes. Mild elements of eucalyptus and brambles. Medium tannins, and unlike many red wines in its price range, this is ready to drink straight when poured and doesn't require breathing to knock off the rough edges. (Though as with any red wine, it does get softer with time.)
The wine was served with steak, and then a day later with roasted pork. It's full bodied enough to stand up to strongly flavored sauces and ingredients on the plate, but it's also mellow enough to be enjoyed as a slow sipper after dinner.
Note: I received this wine as a sample.