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Alcance Gran Reserva Carmenere 2015

Carmenere from Chile
    0% ABV
    • W&S93
    • WE92
    • JS92
    • TP90
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    Winemaker Notes

    Carmenere, the obscure Bordeaux variety once believed extinct, has now become Chile's signature grape. Alcance Carmenere comes from our estate vineyards in Maule. Lush notes of black fruits, blueberries, and spice are abundant in the nose and follow through the fruity, spicy palate. Elegant tannins provide structure and elegance. This is a powerful wine with a beautiful personality whose rich flavors truly capture the essence of the San Francisco vineyard.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Alcance

    Alcance

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    Alcance, Chile
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    When they came to Chile in the early 1990s most of the country's wineries were congregated in the north in the warmer areas of the Central Valley. Alcance chose a different direction. With their extensive winemaking history in the cooler regions of California, and a belief that "cusp" climates produce the most complex and balanced wines, they looked to the Maule Valley.

    The last two decades have taught Alcance that Maule is a place of unlimited potential. With modern planting, farming and winemaking techniques, Maule can produce wines that deliver all the depth, character and complexity of many of the world's finest.

    Alance is built around estate vineyards planted over dozens of soil types in various climatic regions. They produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, Vigno (old-vine Carignan) and Bravura, their flagship Bordeaux blend, all of which reflect the unique terroir and sense of place.

    One of South America’s most important wine-producing countries, Chile is a reliable source of both budget-friendly wines and premium bottlings. Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile some time in the 1550s. But Chile’s modern wine industry is largely the result of heavy investment from the 1990s.

    Long and narrow, Chile is geographically isolated, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders allowed Chile to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation in the late 1800s and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted (as is the case in much of the wine producing world).

    Chile’s vineyards vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt Current. While historically focused solely on Pisco production, today this area finds success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

    Carmenere

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    Dark, full-bodied and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère found great success with its move to Chile in the mid-nineteenth century. Far from its birthplace of Bordeaux, Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape there. But the variety went a bit undercover, impressing wine lovers until 1994 when many plantings previously thought to be Merlot, were profiled as Carménère. Regardless of what vine variety it actually was, these have proven successful and plantings continue to increase.

    In the Glass

    Carménère can express a bit of herbaceous character or black pepper but in warm climates or with additional hangtime before harvest, it makes wines reminiscent of blackberry, blueberry and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke and soy sauce.

    Perfect Pairings

    Carménère makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a mole sauce or spice rub.

    Sommelier Secret

    Perhaps Carménère’s herbal character can be explained in part by familial relations—due to the strange nature of grapevine breeding, Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.

    RGL8001590_2015 Item# 293802