Santa Carolina's 'icon' Carmenere, 'Herencia'

I’ll have to admit it, but I was slightly disappointed by this wine. It’s Santa Carolina’s icon Carmenere, named Herencia, and it comes in a huge, heavy bottle. It has a price tag to match – £100. But it failed the empty bottle test. I opened it last night with two others, and we had a glass each, commenting on how seductive it was. And tonight, I’ve returned to it, but I can’t summon up the enthusiasm to drink it, opting for a New Zealand Syrah instead.

It’s not a bad wine at all. It has an amazing seductive quality, with lots of very sweet fruit. But it has pushed the ripeness spectrum just a little too far. It will no doubt appeal to some palates – and some critics (a fellow UK critic gave it 94/100) – but I don’t really enjoy this style.

Santa Carolina Herencia Carmenere 2007 DO Peumo, Chile
14.5% alcohol. Very seductive sweet liqueur-like blackcurrant and blackberry nose with sweet creamy oak and a hint of coconut. The palate is seductive and bold with concentrated, inky black fruits and some lushness, as well as fine-grained tannins. Pushing ripeness to its limits, this is a very sweet, concentrated, seductive wine that flirts with spoofiness. It has a sense of deliciousness, but I wouldn’t pay ££££ for it. 89/100

6 comments to Santa Carolina’s ‘icon’ Carmenere, ‘Herencia’

  • I had an Errazuriz Max Reserva Carmenere 2008, a few days ago. Same style, same problems. I must say that Carmenere is the only New World variety I really enjoy, but this style is just killing me :) Heavy, over-ripeness, a lot of oak, etc. Seductive? Of course. But after 1 glass I had to drink some water to wash my mouth. It was too much for my palate…

  • Agree – Carmenere can be lovely. But this is not the direction to take.

  • Mark T

    Who gave it 94, Jamie? Just so I know to avoid their reccos :-)

  • Google Santa Carolina Herencia and the review comes on the second page

  • Mark T

    Hmmm, yes… thanks, Jamie :-)

    Not that I’d be buying it anyway, of course.

  • I would like to share the tasting notes of a Santa Carolina cabernet sauvignon.

    SANTA CAROLINA DESDE 1875 RESERVA ESTRELLA DE ORO CABERNET SAUVIGNON D.O. VALLE DE COLCHAGUA PRODUCIDO Y EMBOTELLADO POR VIÑA SANTA CAROLINA S.A. TIL TIL N° 2228 – SANTIAGO – CHILE 14,5% 2005

    VISUAL ANALYSIS: limpid, ruby, quite thick
    OLFACTORY ANALYSIS : intense, complex, fine

    DESCRIPTION : fruity(ripe cherry), distinct scents(wood, mentholated), toasted(sweet tobacco, chocolate), spicy(black pepper), herbaceous(dry grass), flowery(dry petal’s rose)
    GUSTATIVE ANALYSIS : dry, warm, quite soft

    quite fresh, quite tannic, tasty / full

    quite balanced, intense, scarcely persistent(6), fine
    FINAL CONSIDERATIONS : mature, quite harmonious EVALUATION 84

    AGEING: 9 meses barricas de roble

    •The great presence of mineral salts stimulates the olfactory papillas which are captured at the first nose

    •What it is said at the olfactory exam, it is confirmed at the mouth where the sensations are so fitted that it is allowed an approach to the gustative elegance

    •EVOLUTION : mature

    •PRICE-QUALITY COMPARISON: good

    •WINE-FOOD COMBINATION : on every occasion

    •MY PERSONAL OPINION: interesting wine able to drive you to think about the pleasant manners of a Bordeaux wine. In the moment that we are going to give a look at the price we realise that we have made a bargain

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