Syrah or Shiraz does not immediately spring to mind when you first take a sniff and a sip of this wine as there is an initial blackcurrant explosion on the nose and palate. It originates from one of the warmer parts of the Aconcagua region in Chile where cooling Pacific Ocean breezes and low rainfall account for the intense black fruit characteristics. Named in honour of the Spanish priest, Francisco de Carabantes, who brought Chile's first wine to the country in 1554, this beautiful wine opens up to reveal so much more than black fruits.
Syrah is an intensely perfumed grape and it certainly shows here. 5% Petit Verdot is added for its violet aroma, its colour and structure plus 10% Cabernet Sauvignon to provide acidity and backbone. The result is a lovely, fragrant and tasty fruit-filled treat.
Deep garnet in colour, this wine displays intense aromas - blackcurrant and blackcurrant leaf, sweet blackberries and blueberries, strawberries with notes of white pepper, mint and violets. Sweet black fruits dominate the palate too - blackcurrant, blueberries, mulberries with some creaminess from the oak which lifts to leave some cinnamon spice and a hint of smoke on the finish. The texture of this wine is really velvety. It shows a great balance of hardly noticeable tannins, lower than anticipated alcohol and that lovely fruit which also means that it will keep a while if you have very strong willpower. I found it hard to put down my glass for long enough to write my tasting notes.
We're in good company - this wine features on the Chiltern Firehouse wine list.
A very food friendly wine; drink with lamb, beef and other red meats, turkey with cranberry sauce, spicy food, nut roast
"Aroma & Bouquet: Intense and fairly complex. The start which features red berries, blueberries, raspberries and floral aromas such as violet, gives way to hints of aromatic herbs including musk rose, dried tea leaves, laurel, licorice, spices such as white pepper and a mint finish. Flavour: A sweet, fresh start with good volume, mature tannins, a very pleasing finish."
91 Points Robert Parker Dec 2012
"The 2010 Carabantes seems much more vibrant and energetic than the 2009 as it veers towards a more red fruit profile: macerated small cherries, strawberry, peppermint and a vase of lilies. The palate is medium-bodied with fine supple tannins and great purity. It is very well-balanced with notes of raspberry, wild strawberry, vanilla and a touch of balsamic, but it is the velvety texture that is so seductive at this early stage. This shows great promise.
Von Siebenthal tend 30 hectares of vine and offer six different wines that are all worth seeking out."