2018 Vina Carmen Merlot Gran Reserva
The Merlot Gran Reserva 'Carmen' is a delicious, powerful and intense Merlot, without sacrificing its supple character and fruit. This Merlot remains seductive and has a deep ruby red color in the glass.
In the nose we smell an intense fragrance, a hint of eucalyptus, cinnamon, sweet plums and figs, jam, pleasant spiciness. On the palate, the wine has a soft, slightly creamy entry, pure seduction, intense juice, with a pleasant spiciness, delicious merlot, round, creamy, with a little pepper.
The wines from the 'Gran Reserva' series by Carmen are all made from vines in special vineyards. It is no coincidence that these are vineyards in Chile with a relatively cool location. So is this delicious Merlot, which is made from Carmen's own vineyards in the region called 'Alto Maipo'. That is the high part of Maipo Valley, at the foot of the Andes. Because of its special character, this part even has its own sub-appellation: Pirque. The substrate is perfect for Merlot, because the sand content is high, up to 80%. That means ideal drainage, essential for good Merlot. The wine gets a powerful structure due to the large temperature differences between day and night, which occur here at the foot of the Andes due to the daily cool winds from the mountain slopes, in combination with the high altitude of the vineyards. After a week of cold soaking at 4º-5ºC, the wine undergoes fermentation at 26ºC, all to emphasize the fruit in the wine. The aging in French and American oak barrels then lasted for nine months, giving the wine a pleasant, slightly exotic vanilla note. By adding small amounts of Malbec and Syrah, the Merlot gets a little more firmness and a pleasant spiciness.
Carmen is the oldest of the bodegas still active in Chilean viticulture. The house was founded in 1850 by Chistian Lanz, who named the winery after his beloved wife Carmen. Until 1987 it led a fairly inconspicuous existence. However, it was then taken over by the Claro family, who were also involved as co-owners in companies such as Santa Rita and Los Vascos. Substantial investments were made, and the opportunity was seized to establish one of Chile's most modern wine companies. In 1994, the carménère grape variety was rediscovered in the vineyards of Carmen. It was long thought that this grape variety was extinct because of the phylloxera, but research showed that the grape was still planted in the Alta Maipo Valley vineyards of Carmen. Since its rediscovery, the carménère grape has become the signature variety for Chilean viticulture. Due to the construction at the foot of the Andes mountains, the new cellars from the winery could be constructed in such a way that all movements with the wine only take place under the influence of gravity. The use of pumps, which somehow 'damage' the wine, make it less of a quality, is completely avoided in this way.
However, the basis of Carmen's success does not even lie in the state-of-the-art installations, but in the vineyard. The professional team of oenologists, led by María del Pilar González, also plays an important role in the production of quality wines. With its arrival in the early 1990s, the emphasis was placed on the quality of the grapes by the young winemaker Alvaro Espinoza. Now that winemaker Emily Faulconer has taken over Carmen's premium range, the focus is on making wines with their own identity and salvaging the value of the terroir they come from. Winemaker Emily Faulconer studied agricultural engineering at the Universidad Católica de Chile. She worked in wineries in the United States (Cakebread Cellars), New Zealand (Trinity Hill Winery) and France (Chateau Canon). Faulconer has also previously worked as head winemaker in Viña Arboleda, where she managed the viticultural and viticultural areas, emphasizing the production of fine wines with a sense of origin.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Drinking as of||2020|
|Tasting Profiles||Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Red fruit, Full|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Cadeau!, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard, Romantisch|