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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Primus The Blend 2004
Primus The Blend 2004
(search item no. 87133)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 5 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

Primus is a racy blend of Carmenère, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon made from the highest quality grapes at the Veramonte Estate. It showcases the rare Carmenère variety, a distinctive grape that has found its home in Chile.

Well structured with mature, ripe fruit that exhibits an evolved complexity with a seamless blending of the three varietals. Velvety, with a medium body and smooth, yet powerful tannins.

Chile claims the lost Bordeaux grape
Once a widely planted variety in Bordeaux, Carmenère was all but forgotten after the phylloxera outbreak in the 1880s virtually wiped it off the European wine map. The happy news is that someone carried the vine (also known as Grande Vidure and Grande Carmenet) to Chile in the 1850s. At that time, Chile was welcoming a wine renaissance. The aristocracy was moving to the countryside with the vision of creating a wine industry to rival Europe's.

They planted the noble vines from France and for over a century, thought that the high-vigor vine with pinkish leaves was a special clone of Merlot or Cabernet Franc.

After masquerading as Merlot for over a century in Chile, it wasn't until the 1990s that Chilean winegrowers determined the mystery vines are not Merlot but the lost Bordeaux grape Carmenère. Since then, Chile has become synonymous with the lush and exotic wines made from Carmenère and is the only country producing Carmenère based wines. Salud!

"Unusually ripe for a Casablanca red, this blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and carmenère has the texture of melted chocolate and ripe flavors of fig and blueberry. A powerful acidity keeps a refreshing tension."
-Wines & Spirits

"The proprietary red wine, the 2004 Primus, is a blend of 47% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 23% Carmenere. It delivers an attractive perfume of pain grille, black cherry and blueberry. This is followed by a supple, ripe wine with no hard edges in a racy style. Drink this tasty, lively red over the next five years."
-Wine Advocate

My Notes:

Additional wines from Primus:

About Primus:

Primus wines are produced by the Veramonte winery. Veramonte represents a return to Agustin Huneeus' Chilean roots. When he spearheaded development of the Veramonte Estate in 1990, there were less than 100 acres of grapevines planted in the Casablanca Valley.

The coastal mountain ranges surrounding the Casablanca estate create a unique terroir with a diversity of microclimates. The valley floor's cool climate is reminiscent of Carneros and ideal for growing premium Chardonnay. The foothills are warmer, akin to the more Northern reaches of the Napa Valley. Here, the climate is more suited to varieties like Carmenëre, the lost Bordeaux grape that has become Chile's citizen and the basis of Primus, our racy, exotic Chilean blend.

Using the latest viticultural technology developed in California, rootstock has been matched to each vineyard block and clone. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing balance growth and fruit production. Veramonte's Casablanca vineyard produces significantly lower yields than other grape growing regions in Chile, resulting in grapes with more intensity and concentration.

Recognizing that the region also had potential as a tourist destination for its proximity to Santiago, Huneeus began to plant the estate and in 1995, constructed the first Napa Valley style hospitality center in Chile. The first wines were released in 1996.