Two dramatically different Carmeneres: Canepa 2014 & Arenal 2012

The Bad: Canepa Reserva Famiglia 2014 Carmenere

No idea what this costs, as it was given to Testa Rossa as a gift. Some online research points to around $8.00 a bottle. I’m glad we didn’t pay anything for this because it was terrible. It had a harsh metallic edge on the taste right after opening. As you know, Carmenere is one of my favorite varietals, and rarely do I NOT like one. Note sure if this was a storage issue, or just not a very good wine, but this one was beyond help. Letting it breathe for a while, it mellowed a tiny bit, but still ended up being poured down the drain.

The Good: Arenal 2012 Carmenere

As you can see, this one cost me $8.98. Good cheap wine! After the disappointment of the Canepa I literally went to my cellar to find another Carmenere to taste, just to remind me what I liked about the stuff. I have a couple of high-dollar Carms from Montes (Purple Angel) but I wanted to find something in the same price range as the Canepa and the Arenal was right on target. In terms of drinkability and being true to the varietal, it was also spot-on. Dark. Deep flavor. I have two more bottles of this in my cellar and look forward to opening both. Great value.

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