A serious bottle of Carmenere from Chile
The 2006 Vina Errazuriz, Kai, Carmenere, Aconcagua Valley has an interesting history, not only because Vina Errazuriz chose to produce a top-tier “icon” wine from Carmenere but for how the wine was released. It was in 2010 that Vina Errazuriz sponsored a series of tastings pitting the 2006 Kai against other wines in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, New York, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto, and other cities.
These 2010 tastings were a recreation of “The Berlin Tasting” which Vina Errazuriz sponsored in 2004 with the help of Steven Spurrier. You can of course guess that this was hoped to have the same effect on Chilean wine as the 1976 “Judgement of Paris” did for Californian wines.
The 2006 Kai was presented in blind tastings with other wines of the same vintage from California, France, and Italy. At several tastings, when asked to pick their favorites, the critics chose the 2006 Kai over 2006 Haut Brion, 2006 Lafite-Rothschild, 2006 Opus One, and 2006 Sassicaia amongst others. This makes for great press, as evidenced by all of the articles and posts out there, but the real interest is in how this wine tastes some five years later.
The 2006 Kai is a top-tier wine from Vina Errazuriz that still commands a healthy average price of $120 per bottle. While you never lose the green streak of Carmenere and the hefty dose of new French oak, you cannot help but enjoy the mouthfilling flavors that are salty, dense, and inky. It was a pleasurable wine to drink, it slowly evolved in the glass to offer up new flavors, and though a big wine, it never became fatiguing. While I might not seek out this particular wine given the price, I certainly would not refuse a glass or three. This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.
2006 Errazuriz, Kai, Carmenere, Aconcagua Valley
Imported by The Rare Wine Co. This wine is a blend of 87% Carmenere with 9% Petit Verdot and 4% Syrah that was aged for 16 months in new French oak barrels. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose always revealed some greenhouse hints to its fruit aromas. In the mouth the flavors were filling with a dry middle, and an inky, purple fruited finish. This modern wine, with its new oak flavors, is a little tart on the sides of the tongue. With air it develops hints of tobacco, minerals, and a lipsticky finish. It is attractively salty with impressive density and ripeness in the end. **** Now – 2025.