Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Carignan 2012
Casas del Bosque winery and vineyards are located in the Casablanca Valley. At just over 900 ft above sea level, and about 12 miles inland from the Pacific, the climate is ideal for producing cool climate wines; the estate vineyards are planted to Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Pinot Noir. The Carménère and Cabernet Sauvignon red wines come from the Rapel and Maipo valleys where they contract specific vineyards sites for their wines.
About the Winemaker - Meinard Jan Bloem
Meinard was born and grew up in The Netherlands. He arrived in Chile in 1995, and very quickly decided to make it his new home. He now regards himself as more Chilean than Dutch. He decided to become a winemaker and went to study at the Universidad Católica in Chile, where he graduated as best student in the history of his Faculty. After completing his study in Santiago he went to Montpellier and Geisenheim (Germany) to obtain a Master’s Degree in Viticulture and Enology. He also had the chance to work with such renowned people in the world of Pinot Noir as Greg La Follette, Stefan Dorst (Weingut Friedrich Becker) or Sylvain Pitiot at the famous Domaine du Clos de Tart in Burgundy. In Germany he trained at Weingut Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, producing some of the worlds best dry Rieslings.
Having worked several years at a small vineyard and winery, running everything from viticulture to sales, in 2016 he was ready for a bigger challenge. Having been called by Tim Atkin MW one of “the younger generation of winemakers [that] is taking the country to new levels,” and since the only two Sauvignon Blancs he had ever made are still amongst the 10 best from Chile according to Wine Spectator, the decision to hire him at Casas del Bosque was an easy one. He’s one of the few winemakers in Chile who feel more confident in the vineyard than in the cellar, is fluent in six languages and in his free time enjoys riding -and occasionally crashes- a motorcycle.
Maule is the Central Valley’s most southern and coolest zone, reaching a southern latitude of 35°S, yet it is still warmer and drier than Bío-Bío to its south. The Maule Valley enjoys success with a unique set of grapes.
It lays claim to the local variety, Pais (synonymous with Tinta Pais, which is actually Tempranillo), which has dominated much of the region’s area under vine until the recent past. Now many growers, not confined by the tradition and regulations of the Old World, also successfully grow Cabernet Sauvignon.
While Maule’s total area under vine remains relatively static, its old Carignan vineyards are undergoing a great revival. The VIGNO (Vignadores del Carignan Vintners) group, an association in charge of promoting this long-forgotten variety, is getting fantastic results from the old vines in its dry-farmed coastal zones.
The Maule includes the subregions of Talca, San Clemente, San Javier, Parral, Linares and Cauquenes.
Responsible for some of the most stunning old vine red wine on the planet, Carignan has an amazing capacity to survive dry, arid climates and still produce lovely, mouthwatering wine. In Spain it goes by the name of Mazuelo and while it may have originated there in the province of Aragón, its popularity lies elsewhere, particularly in Languedoc-Roussillon. Somm Secret—Historically Carignan did not enjoy the respect that it does today. In the mid 20th century, Carignan covered nearly 140,000 ha in Algeria, where it was made into low quality bulk and blending wine to supply mass-market demand.