WINE REVIEW: Casillero del Diablo 2019 Carménère Reserva, Chile ($12)
by Andrew Chalk
Casillero del Diablo is the popular-priced brand from Concha y Toro. They create a large number of varietal wines that all tend to be good value. This Carménère is an example of that. In fact, it is so type-correct that it would be a good choice to demonstrate the character of the grape variety in a wine course.
First, there is pronounced aroma of green pepper in the nose. This is due to substances called pyrazines. It is found in many grapes, but Carménère is one where it tends to be pronounced. The aroma is not unpleasant because of it. Rather, it gives the nose a dusty quality with notes of lead pencil. The other component is the youthful and forward blackcurrant fruit.
On the palate the dominant fruit is accompanied by young, grippy tannins and medium plus acidity. I think a year or two down the road the tannins may soften and the wine better as a result. If you drink it now, pair it with fatty red meat. Texas barbecue brisket springs to mind.