Vina Koyle Carmenere Reserva
First the bad news. Koyle (it’s pronounced Koy-Lay) is not a great name for English speakers and the “Reserva” is in fact their entry-level wine. Now the good: who cares? Koyle is the relatively new project of Chile’s famed Underraga family (there’s pretty good odds that if you grew up in Western Canada that an Underraga bottling was the very first Chilean wine you ever drank), and with Koyle they’ve set aside the ethos of mass-production in order to make what can only be described as handmade wines at near mass production prices. Their Syrah Reserva is the most widely available label in BC and AB, and it’s dynamite, but this Carmenere is even more surprising. It avoids the overly fleshly attributes the grape sometime show an instead has a tea, tobacco and red fruits mélange that’s welcoming. There’s 9% Syrah and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon to help steady things. This is a winner.