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Maquis Carmenere 2011

Carmenere from Chile
    13.5% ABV
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This Carmenere presents a complex, profound nose with spicy flourishes of cinnamon, clove, cocoa and red fruits. It is a vibrant, fresh wine with a long finish and tannins that come together to produce a smooth, beautiful, harmonious flavor.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Maquis

    Maquis

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    Maquis, Chile
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    The Hurtado family has owned the Vina Maquis vineyard for more than a century, but it wasn't until ten years ago that the family decided to make their own wine out of the terrific grapes in their own backyard. They built a gorgeous, state-of-the-art gravity flow winery and set out to make a "Super Chilean" blend using the vineyard's best red grapes.

    Located in Valle de Colchagua, Vina Maquis's terroir is deeply influenced by its geographic position, as it is surrounded by the Tinguiririca River and the Chimbarongo Creek—two large waterways that once brought alluvial sediments from the Andes. Today, they act as pathways for cool coastal breezes that help moderate the warm Colchagua summers, contributing to the intensity and fruitiness of the wines.

    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.

    GVIG1MQ1BCA_2011 Item# 128048