2008 Valdivieso "Eclat" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14% $24
On the nose there is green coffee bean, a faint hint of barnyard, some blueberry, fine shale soil tones, a hint of stem and gentle herbs. Rather refined and smaller in scale than many of these wines, but well balanced with a delicacy to the structure, though this is medium plus-bodied. The finish is a bit short and a touch lean with red currant fruit, red plum. Small-scaled with a bit of mint on the back end. 86pts

2010 Undurraga "VIGNO" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14%
A bit leathery on the nose with pencil lead, black currant and a light herbaceous top note. Bright and fine with a nice texture, super fine tannins make this a bit austere and a touch tight. Very Bordeaux textured. I love the texture, makes this easy drinking for me with nice interplay between bright acids and fresh tannins. It does lack a bit of character. 86pts

2008 De Martino "VIGNO" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14.5%
Tight nose, plummy, a bit of toasted spice, pine nuts, wild cherry skins. In the mouth, this is a bit chunky, chewy. A little funky early on, then more mineral with nice focus on the back end and a bit heavily extracted on the finish. Some pencil shavings in the mouth hint at the fairly obvious oak, with more notes of toast emerging on the finish. This is short and chunky and a bit clumsy. 86pts

2009 Santa Carolina "Dry Farming" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14.5% $20

Nicely balanced nose offers some nutty oak, wood spice and soil notes over a base of aromatic plum skin. Smooth in the mouth with good acidity and nice, polished tannins. This has some lovely plummy fruit, gently spiced on the palate with a nice hit of loganberry on the back end. The finish is a bit short and dull showing a slightly extracted edge. 85pts

2008 Vigna Roja "VIGNO" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14%
Dark, dense and earthy with dried floral notes, pomegranate seeds, a bit of orange peel and some vanilla. Smells well made but maybe not much like Carignan, though it is complex and layered. Smooth as silk and really well made but again, is there much Carignan character here? A bit short, a textural wine. 85pts

2010 Anakena "Single Vineyard" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 13.5% $15
Heavy, powerful yet dull nose is matte with plenty of oak lurking here. Earthy and meaty and a bit dull in the mouth, as well as dark and muscular. A bit sinewy but very nicely polished and crafted into an elegantly styled wine that shows some minerality on the modest finish. Crisp and well defined if over polished and lacking excitement. This is a bit weird, not sure if it gets better or simply fades quickly. 84pts

2007 Santa Ema "Amplus" Carignane Cachapoal Valley Chile 14.5% $22
Shows a nice base of oak topped with oregano, some cooked tomato, beautiful, faceted spicy fruit, black cherry, a little black currant and boysenberry on the nose. In the mouth, this is still tight. Open if a touch low on the palate, which shows lovely freshness of fruit, spiced plums, mineral flecks and handfuls of Middle Eastern spices thrown in the air. The finish is a bit extracted and compressed though there is fine length here and plenty too much oak. Air is not kind here. As this sits in the glass, it just becomes oakier and oakier. There is something beautiful here, but it wears too much makeup. 83pts

2010 Meli Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14% $16
This is unusual, with aromas of olives, oyster shell, prunes, shoe black, bit of VA and earthy, dry leather all coming together in a rather Old World style. Soft and rich though the acid does pop on the mid-palate. This is a dense, chewy Carignan that has dark black fruit on the back end and then hits a wall of tannin on the finish. Dull and matte in the mouth, though with time some nice, earthy inner mouth aromatics come out. This is over extracted and heavily wrought. A touch hot. 82pts

2008 Miguel Torres "Cordillera" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14% $25
Green notes on the nose lend this a passion fruit quality over some yeast, with sour cherry, sour berry fruit. A bit clumsy in the mouth, chunky, soft and extracted with wood tannins. Green coffee bean flavors are balanced for the moment by light fruit, but this is blocky and full of plenty of heavy-handed oak. Could only get better. 79pts

2009 Bravado Wines "VIGNO" Carignane Maule Valley Chile 14.5%
Smoky, nutty and dull. Dense, chewy dark fruit. This is not showing well. Travel shock?

Second bottle
Smoky, roasted almonds, dark, jammy bramble black fruit. A bit soft on the palate, this has a nice texture. A bit of raw almond nuttiness on the palate with fruit that is faint but kind of extracted leading to a simple fruity, nutty, somewhat sticky finish. Thoroughly ordinary. 70pts

2007 Las Lomas de Calquenes Carignane Maule Valley Chile 13.5%
This smells dull and industrial. Huge wood, dull, smoky. Medium-bodied style but without any depth of fruit. Dry tannins. There's a hint of fruit here and it pokes out on the finish, but there's not much pleasure here. 70pts