Wine of the week: Eco Balance Carm n re 2009

The Wine Curmudgeon, once a huge fan of Chilean wine, has become mostly ambivalent over the past several years. Too many Chilean wine have gone from being cheap and well done to just cheap. Labels that had once I counted on, like the Veramonte sauvignon blanc, have morphed into just another grocery store wine. Blame the weak dollar for much of this, but the Chileans have been turning out a lot of ordinary wine as well.

That's why the Eco Balance ($10, sample) was so welcome. Carmenere is a tricky grape to work with, and the Chileans are still trying to figure out what to do with it, especially for cheaper wines. I didn't expect much with this, and at first sip there wasn't much there. But let it open a bit, and you'll find lots of cherry fruit, something that tastes like fake oak but that isn't cheesy, and healthy tannins. The tannins were a nice touch; most wines at this price either have no tannins at all or tannins that are so harsh they grate your tongue. It's a beef wine, probably best suited for burgers and meat loaf.

And yes, it is eco-friendly. Emiliana, the producer, does three green wines — biodynamic, organic, and the Eco, which is produced using environmentally protective farming practices.

2 thoughts on “Wine of the week: Eco Balance Carm n re 2009

  • By Hugh in Arlington - Reply

    Sorry Mr. Siegel, for once I do not agree with you about a wine. I tried a bottle of Eco that I purchased about 2-3 weeks ago at Whole Foods Arlington. The best memory my wife and I have over this bottle was…what have they done to this wine? Do not purchase again!
    We’re usually “suckers” for any red from Chile, but this one left a very unfavorable memory in our tasting buds.
    Hugh in Arlington

  • By Jeff Siegel - Reply

    No doubt, my friend, that the reasons you didn’t like it are the reasons that I did. Which is one of the reasons why I enjoy wine so much.

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