WOTW: Carmen, Carmenére Gran Reserva, Apalta 2013

In a nutshell: A fireside red that fizzes and crackles with bold ripe fruit.

The producer: Founded in 1850, Carmen was Chile’s first wine producer – and the key thing about being a pioneer is that you get to work out which are best areas before anyone else; the result is that Carmen possesses vineyards in some of Chile’s finest winegrowing areas. They were also the first producer in Chile to specialise in organic grapes, and among the first to produce premium Chilean wines.

The wine: The grapes were hand-harvested from Carmen’s Apalta vineyards in the Colchagua Valley. This sub-region is one of the best sites for growing premium Carmenére as the poor granitic soils, altitude and night/day temperature variation promotes complexity, depth and concentration. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 10 months prior to bottling.

Tasting note: A dense and concentrated wine with intense red fruit characters on the nose, complemented by hints of sweet spice, tobacco, cedar and earthy aromas. Full bodied and well balanced with a deep velvety texture and beautiful long finish.

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