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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Viña Canepa Novisimo Merlot 2009, Valle Central, Chile - Naked Wines

Shortly after signing up with Naked Wines, I received a series of promotional emails about special offers and the like.

I am generally a little sceptical about these sorts of offers where price is merely a part of the promotional mix, but one really grabbed my attention - six of their wines for free, with just the the taxes and delivery to pay. It seemed too good to refuse and this is the first of those wines - a Merlot from Canepa.

Founded in 1930 on the outskirts of Santiago by the Italian Giuseppe Canepa, Viña Canepa became one of the great names in Chilean winemaking, playing an instrumental role in modernizing the country's wine production, before more recently losing its way whereupon it was left to winemaker Max Weinlaub, a graduate of the Chilean behemoth Concha y Toro, to save them from ruin.

This 2009 Merlot comes from the Central Valley - something of a catch-all region, encompassing Maipo, Rapel, Curico and Maule - so there's not a huge sense of terroir here.

That said, there is plenty of crowd-pleasing blackcurrant, plums, bramble fruit, vanilla and some woodsy forest floor, New World sweetness, not overdone and enough acidity and grip on the finish to make it a food wine.

It all feels balanced and well-integrated and with a bit of time in the decanter, it develops a very pleasant aroma of pencil shavings and a smooth but mouthfilling texture.

With the winery's Italian heritage and a relatively Old-World 12.5% alcohol, this feels like a good mixture of the New World and the Old. We matched this with steak and kidney pie with roast vegetables, but it would equally go with good butcher's sausages or roast meat.

£8.99 / £5.99 for Angels.

Naked Wine's Angels are a group of over 30,000 Naked Wines customers who regularly invest a set amount each month to help fund start-up wineries and receive cash back on their purchases as a result.

For more details on Naked Wines' Angels scheme, see this article by US blogger Arnold Waldstein:


Canepa Wines - http://www.canepawines.cl/en/

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