Chilean Carménère has quite a following around the world, and for consumers who enjoy this particular variety, it ́s all about the earthy notes and spiciness that make this wine so interesting. The most famous area for this grape is the broader Rapel appellation, however for their Gran Reserva, Casas del Bosque sources the grapes from longtime growers located in the more specific Cachapoal Valley, where the most highly regarded and awarded Carménères come from. This 2018 Carmenére in particular shines thanks to the quality of the fruit, which benefited from an almost “text- book-perfect” growing season. The full year spent in oak barrels helps the wine mature to a point where the pyrazine notes are present without being predominant, giving way to a style that is more ripe and structured, without that tomato leaf component in the aromatics. More balanced and elegant than its Reserva cousin, this is one of those wines in which you can actually taste the terroir it comes from.
Dark violet in color, the wine starts with an aromatic explosion of blueberry, vanilla, tobacco, and loam. Smooth and open-knit on the palate, balancing velvety tannins and gentle acidity. Its plush texture, defined structure, and lingering notes of plums and dried herbs are typical of this variety. Ideally served at 60-65oF, this wine is pairs extremely well with traditional Chilean cuisine, which features many preparations with red meats and onions. It also goes well with spicy cuisine such as certain types of Mexican and Thai food.
The grapes for this wine grow on rocky, clay soils on a slope overlooking the Cachapoal River. The site is sheltered and relatively warm. Crop levels average 4.5 tons per acre. After the harvest, the grapes were sorted at the winery, destemmed and then crushed to tanks. Fermentation was induced with selected yeasts, lasting a total of 18 days with temperatures peaking at 91oF. Following the alcoholic fermentation the must was subjected to an additional 3 days of post-ferment maceration. The wine was then pressed off the skins and put into 25% new, 75% used French oak barrels for 12 months during which time it was racked and plunged twice. The wine was then clarified with natural egg whites (sourced from a local free-range hatchery) prior to bottling on May 2019. 1.367 cases were produced.