This Chilean packs punch and finesse into the same glass in this nice blend of cabernet and malbec in equal parts. Touted as being made from organically grown grapes, the nose is enticing with aromas of pine nuts and boysenberries. The fruit is forward but still seems to tantalizingly hold something back, and the tannins are nicely structured, not too intrusive. There is a yin and yang at work which makes you keep reaching for the glass to see what is going on here. I served some of this with smoked ham on Christmas Eve, to the hearty approval of assembled revelers. I would look forward to doing this one again with a barbecued leg of lamb when the weather is a bit better.

WHO: De Martino
WHAT: Cabernet (50%), Malbec (50%)
WHERE: Maipo Valley, Chile
WHEN: 2008
HOW MUCH: $15

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About The Author

Gary Thomas
Wine Review Editor

Gary Thomas is also a longtime professional journalist, and former senior correspondent at the Voice of America. He was the wine columnist for the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, TX, and has freelanced wine articles for other publications, including the Wine Spectator. He has spent much of his long journalistic career working overseas, managing to cadge needed wine in the hardiest of circumstances and unlikliest of locales, even in places like Pakistan and Iran.