Hosted by John DeLeo of Premier wines, a small group of restaurateurs were treated to a truly PREMIER experience. All of these wines are favorably reviewed in my book, WINES OF PASSION: THE BEST OF SOUTH AMERICA.
Led by winemaker Sebastian Rodriguez, the high quality Terrunyo wines started with a superb Sauvignon Blanc that accompanied a delicious French Onion Soup. The Sauvignon Blanc was smooth, highlighted by delicious citrus tonalities. The finish is long and vibrant. Complex for a white wine, visions of white burgundy are inevitable.
Terrunyo Carmenere followed, while still on the onion soup and was fabulous. One of the great buys in the world, this carmenere is complex with smooth, long tones of blackberry seamlessly blended with violet flowers, herbs and peppers. A touch of minerality completes this fabulous wine.
These two highly rated wines by all the experts are found at Gol! for under $100.
The next level, and what a level it is, led to the Carmin de Peumo Carmenere, in my opinion the uncontested best Carmenere made to date. Peumo, like Apalta, is the Bordeaux version of Chile's fine wine regions. The great grand cru, Almaviva gets its Carmenere from the same plots that results in the Mouton Rothschild's star wine from South America
Carmin de Peumo is marginally more complex than the Terrunyo though I would not like to have to blind taste them to figure out which was which. Its minerality is subtle, the herbs and peppers are matured 18 months in French oak and berries and violets stand out throughout the magnificent taste until the delicious and lengthy finish.
For me the surprise of the lunch was the last wine, Don Melchor. A cabernet sauvignon (a small touch of Cab Franc is blended in) that is styled in Bordeaux quality, I was fearful that it would not stand up to the phenomenal carmeneres that preceded it.
Happily, the wine drank superbly and to my recollection, is the best Don Melchor yet produced. I look forward to comparing it in a future blind tasting against the best aged Bordeaux wines. This is a true special home run hitting wine at a fraction (a small fraction) of comparable European and Californian wines. Don Melchor ages nicely over 10 years and this 2007 is a keeper!