Winemaker: Panilonco (by Viñedos Errazuriz Ovalle S.A.)
Wine: Chief of Lions Merlot-Malbec Reserva
Varietal: Red Blend
Appellation: Colchagua Valley, Chile D.O.
Price: $4.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: This budget-friendly offering was a deep red in the glass. It is a medium-bodied mix of 60% Merlot and 40% Malbec. It had a soft, round bouquet of dark fruit, with hints of earth, oak and anise. On the tongue I found plum, blackberry, a bit of clay, and benzine. As the wine breathed, the plum flavor lifted a tad to more of a currant while the rest remained consistent. Tannins are moderate and provide a grassy finish. Alcohol is 13%, and acidity seemed OK. Some, no doubt, will be put off by the benzine. I found nothing to complain about. I think it will do just fine as a table wine paired with meat dishes.
Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur. See “About” for the full disclaimer.