Chilean wine is considered a “New World” product, along with the rest of the wines produced in the Americas, but the term will at some point have to be retired. Today’s wine comes from Viña San Pedro, a winery that’s been producing wine since 1865, and prides itself as one of the most important wineries in the country. The Castillo de Molina brand is just one of several brands operated by Viña San Pedro. The grapes are sourced from the country’s central region, which has a vaguely Mediterranean climate, which should make its product similar to Italian or Spanish wines.
As for the wine itself, the merlot is 85 percent of that grape, 10 percent Carmenere, and 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, which will maybe add a bit of complexity to the fruity flavors we’d normally expect from a merlot. The wine is oaked for ten months to pull everything together.
How does it look? The Castillo de Molina is a bright, opaque ruby red, with a light body, but decent legs, leading me to expect the wine will be slight, but sweet.
How does it smell? This merlot’s nose is sweet, with a bit of cherry, and maybe some herbal rosemary notes, but nothing too harsh or boozy. I’m still expecting something fairly sweet.
But how does it taste? The taste isn’t nearly as sweet as the nose — the wine’s actually dry and tannic, with cherry and raspberry flavors, and a hint of dark chocolate. The tasting notes on the label mention oak, but I don’t really notice it. This is a good wine, though, with a bit more complexity than I expected, and a lingering finish that would help to keep your palate fresh.
What should I eat with it? Well, the vintner suggests a variety of recipes, from a cold pasta salad to a rich chocolate dessert to an Italian tortellini. That all sounds good. I’d add maybe a nice rich risotto, or a roasted pepper bruschetta.