Apaltagua Reserva Carmenere 2019
This wine shows a spicy, plummy nose and ripe, berry fruit on the palate. Gentle handling of the grapes preserves the quality and character of the fruit for production. This wine is an impressive introduction to the native Carmenère grape and a very good value.
Apaltagua Winery, owned by the Tutunjian family, specializes in small-production, appellation-based wines. Apaltagua’s 65-year-old vineyards are located in some of the most prestigious appellations of Chile. The winery is located in the renowned Apalta region of the Colchagua Valley, famous for producing some of the top-rated wines made from Carménère, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Apaltagua wines are crafted by winemaker Carolina França.
Well-regarded for intense and exceptionally high quality red wines, the Colchagua Valley is situated in the southern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with many of the best vineyards lying in the foothills of the Coastal Range.
Heavy French investment and cutting-edge technology in both the vineyard and the winery has been a boon to the local viticultural industry, which already laid claim to ancient vines and a textbook Mediterranean climate.
The warm, dry growing season in the Colchagua Valley favors robust reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah—in fact, some of Chile’s very best are made here. A small amount of good white wine is produced from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Dark, full-bodied and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère found great success with its move to Chile in the mid-19th century. However, the variety went a bit undercover until 1994 when many plantings previously thought to be Merlot, were profiled as Carménère. Somm Secret— Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.