This trio of attention-worthy Chilean reds arrived just in time for some holiday limelight. And it's a good thing they did because a sip of any of them and you'll believe Christmas came early.
Primus was a label borne of Veramonte a couple of decades back, and I've been a fan of their red blend ever since. Over the years, these organically-farmed wines have evolved particularly admirably. Without forsaking their pyrazine-infused honesty of place, they have embraced modernity in an accessible, elegant way. While these are by no means intended for those who favor light-footed delivery, they manage to balance beautiful feminine qualities with masculine muscularity, which is perfect for the heavy sweater season currently upon us. Widely available and punching above their weight classes, these are likely to be found south of the suggested $18.99, and thus easily earn 91 points across the board. (Samples)
2017 Primus Red Blend Apalta $19
Such a lot of wine for the money. Brawny in a way that conjures memories of Sonoma zinfandel in the early 90s, yet plenty of class in this highly-structured, perfumed blend. Straddles the fence between Chilean pyrazine influences and modern international style with ease. A versatile companion to hearty fare and a slam dunk impresser for the holiday table. Show me a California wine at this price that delivers nearly as much. Cabernet, carmenere, petit verdot, merlot and cab franc. 91 Points (Sample)
2018 Primus Carmenere Apalta $19
The nose serves up a platter of gorgeous floral character that complements its deep violet tone. Pyrazines here augment the pretty fruit and lighten the heft with poise and style. Very expressive, and made with precision and sophistication. A less obvious, yet still lovely wine I wouldn't have expected to enjoy so much. 91 Points (Sample)
2017 Primus Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo $19
The most serious of the three, the cabernet is dark, brooding, and in need of air to unfold. With a faint thread of balsamic flavor underlying dried cherry and black fruit, the moderate oak framing and chalky tannins all combine to suggest a wine capable of longevity. Of the three, this is the one that sings most with food. Very well done. 91 Points (Sample)