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Carmen Gran Reserva Carmenere 2011

Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
  • TP90
  • JS90
14.3% ABV
  • WE90
  • JS90
  • JS90
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14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A red wine with strong aromas of cherry and black plum. Complex aromas and flavors from prolonged aging in barrels, giving notes of vanilla, toast, a smoky edge, and traces of fruits such as raspberry and plum; great body and length, balanced acidity, and pleasant, rounded tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 90
Tasting Panel
Ruby red, juicy and fragrant. This red is light-hearted and yet sturdy. Spice and dark fruit are well matched for each other in this gem, from Chile's oldest and most historic winery.
JS 90
James Suckling
This shows lovely fruit with sweet tobacco. Full body, round tannins and a juicy finish. A drop of carignan makes this very cool.
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Carmen

Vina Carmen

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Vina Carmen, Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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Carmen, the oldest of the Chilean wine brands, was founded in 1850 by Christian Lanz, who named it in honor of his wife. The Claro family acquired the brand in 1985 and began the process of transforming it into a world-class winery. A new winery was completed in 1992, located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, just one hour from Chile's capital city of Santiago. Today, the winery seamlessly blends state-of-the-art technology with traditional winemaking processes.

The Carmen team firmly believes in terroir and is continually reevaluating regions and plantings in a quest to produce super premium wines that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s finest. Carmen's vineyards are located throughout Chile's prestigious Central Valley in the premium growing regions of Maipo, Casablanca, Apalta, Rapel and Maule.

Carmen takes pride in its pioneering history. Carmen was the first winery in Chile to cultivate grapes organically (released under the Nativa label) and the first winery to identify and cultivate Carmenère, a variety that originated in Bordeaux but is no longer largely cultivated in France.

Colchagua Valley

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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.

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.

PIN166957_2011 Item# 127133