Panilonco Reserve Carmenere, Colchagua Valley

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Originally a Bordeaux blending grape, Carménère was transplanted to Chile in the 19th century, where it was mistaken for Merlot until the 1990s. All of which is more interesting than this particular wine. What you get is an unpleasant combination of gasoline, pine, and mint aromas and tastes. On the finish, every corner of your tongue is coated with a swamp-like nastiness. Not worth drinking.

Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere Reserve

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This is a bad one. An odd combination of menthol, petrol, and pine makes it smell like a Christmas tree from hell. One of us even refused to taste it. We put the cork back in and let this one sit on the counter for a few days. Upon opening, the most offensive aromas had virtually disappeared, revealing some more pleasant dark fruit. But by this point, the flavor was all but gone. Interestingly, we enjoyed the 2006 vintage of this wine a few years back. It may be that this one needs some time in the cellar to reach its best. We are going to buy another bottle, cellar it, and try it again in about a year. So mark your calendars.