2009 Meli "Dueno de la Luna" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 15% $35
Black fruit on the nose shows a hint of prune, olive wood and spice. A bit wild in a woodsy vein with lots of poppy seed spice notes and a hint of coffee bean. This is really deep and viney with a smooth texture and lovely purity on the palate. Full of black cherry, black currant, mineral, dried herb and spice notes. A bit refined, but this appears to be a wine that refuses to be tamed, with lovely inner mouth perfumes of wild berries, plum skin and spicy herb supported by a touch of nutty oak. There’s a savory sense here on the finish along with plenty of dry fruit tannins. A bit of a powerhouse but certainly distinctive. 91pts

2009 Morande "VIGNO" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14.5%

Floral, pomegranate and a bit of tropical fruit with a hint of Oregon truffle all pop on the nose. Then, pencil shavings, a touch of mocha and black currant fruit fill the glass. This is wide open on the palate with lovely acidity and fine-grained fruit tannins with a mineral vein to the bright fresh fruit. This is bright and fresh with nice purity of fruit and fine balance that shows a lightness of tone on the fairly long finish. Juicy and fruity but not Frooty, it’s a well-done, modern wine. 90pts

2009 Undurraga "T.H." Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14.5% $25
Nice oak shadings on the nose, a bit smoky, a bit rocky and nicely nuanced automatically with a low base note of black berry fruit. On entry, this is plump and intense with an early rush of granite-laced black fruit that spreads on the palate to reveal nice wild berry and plum skin nuances. This is getting very close to an ideal marriage of modern styling and preservation of the purity of the old vine fruit. Decidedly old viney in the mouth with a soft finish, filled with gentle tannins and perhaps a touch of heat. 90pts

2010 Odfjell "Orzada" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14.5% $13
This smells nice with handfuls of crushed fruit, a little peppery top note and spicy black fruit all come together with freshness and intensity. A bit oily in the mouth with a smooth and somewhat loose texture. There is a rather strong fruity character here that almost tastes a bit rustic but feels nicely fresh and honest. Chunky and lovely, fun and totally delicious. 89pts

2009 Canepa "Genovino" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14.5% $35
Very fine French oak on the nose makes this spicy and more wood- than fruit-driven, with plenty of pencil lead. Focused and refined though somewhat tightly wrapped in the mouth, this is nicely balanced with a rich, somewhat wide-shouldered style that needs some time to resolve itself. The wine is very well made and the fruit peeks out on the end of the rather long finish. More of a tame style but elegant, refined and promising. A bit of time is needed to let the wood integrate. 89pts