Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Svelte and focused, with fine-grained tannins supporting the fresh-crushed plum, cardamom and dark cherry flavors. Taut mid palate, offering a finish that lengthens out nicely with green herbal and mineral accents. Drink now through 2024.
Oenologists say that Peumo is the epicenter for Carménère but this example is also 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. An intense violet in color, it is all about raspberry and blackberry flavors with a hint of pepper. Pleasantly refreshing with fine tannins, this wine is a classic of the type.
Founded in 1883, Vina Concha y Toro is Latin America's leading producer and occupies an outstanding position among the world’s most important wine companies, currently exporting to 135 countries worldwide. Uniquely, it owns around 9,500 hectares of prime vineyards, which allows the company to secure the highest quality grapes for its wine production. Concha y Toro's portfolio includes a wide range of successful brands at every price point, from the top of the range Don Melchor and Almaviva to the flagship brand Casillero del Diablo and innovative stand-alone brands such as Palo Alto and Maycas del Limarí. The company has 3,162 employees and is headquartered in Santiago, Chile.
With an outstanding reputation for its bold reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carmenere, the Cachapoal Valley spreads through the northern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with a continuous backdrop of the majestic Andes to its east. This region reaches as far north as the southern outskirts of the city of Santiago where it meets the famous region of the Maipo. The Cachapoal Valley produces no shortage of plum and berry dominated full-bodied reds with aromas and flavors reminiscent of mint, cocoa, spice or smoked meat.
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.
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.
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.