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From Portugal, Chile and Argentina
Lafite-Rothschild owned properties produce
Enjoyable Reds at Great Values

by Simone Zarmati Diament

After releasing prestige wines from the Lafite Rothschild properties in Portugal, Chile and Argentina, they have come up with “regular”or “second label” wines worth exploring, and starting with Portugal, here are three yummy reds:

2002 Dom Martinho Quinta Do Carmo Alentejo, Portugal ($12.99)
My favorite of all three, not only because Alentejo is one of the great wine growing regions of Portugal, and because the estate Quinta Do Carmo is a historical property with roots in the 17th century. But because this beautiful brick red colored medium bodied wine is curiously similar to a Beaujolais with an aromatic nose of black currants . It is well balanced blend of several grape varieties-- 40% Aragonez (Tempranillo), Alicante Bouchet 10%, Trincadeira 20%, Castelao 10%, Syrah 10% & Sauvignon 10% -- fermented in stainless steel. Easy to drink , it is silky on the tongue and ripe, soft, fruity and juicy in the mouth. Pairs well with just about any food.

2004 Viña Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua, Chile ($11.99)
In the mid-nineteenth century, two of the leading Chilean wine producers brought vines from Bordeaux to improve the quality of the original vineyard of Vina Los Vascos. Chile's natural geographic frontiers protected it from the Phyloxera epidemic of the late nineteenth century and when Rothschild (Lafite) purchased Los Vascos in 1988, it became the first French viticultural investment in modern Chile. Christian Le Sommer, ex-technical director for Château Latour 1st Growth in Pauillac, is now in charge of the technical management of Los Vascos.
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is attractive ruby color full-bodied red with a chocolate and caramel nose with hints of leather and bay leaves. Well structured, with aromas of concentrated ripe plum, cherry, cassis and spice on the palate and a lingering chocolaty finish, it is well paired with meaty stews, pastas and cheeses.

2004 Amancaya Bodegas Caro Mendoza Argentina ($17.99)
This Malbec-dominated Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 55% Malbec) from the joint Rothschild/Lafite-Catena owned Bodegas Caro, is a very dark, intense purple-red - almost inky - full-bodied wine aged 12 months in new and old French oak barrels, which concentrates the Malbec’s cha????°?racteristics: spice, intense fruit in addition to liquorice, vanilla and smoke. While already very mild in tannins it would develop better if bottle-aged for at least another year. Pairs with meats and grilled foods.

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