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Nativa Reserva Carmenere 2009

Carmenere from Chile
    13.5% ABV
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Deep violet-red in color, with scents of ripe red fruit, dark chocolate, cinnamon and a touch of black pepper grace the bouquet. Lush, rich and fruit forward, with silky, soft tannins.

    Ideal with aged cheeses, smoked meats, and pastas with well-seasoned sauces.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Nativa

    Nativa

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    Nativa, Chile
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    Nativa wines capture the very essence of Chile's superior and unique terroir with organically grown grapes nurtured only by the warmth of the sun and the nutrients in the soil. This producer’s naturally distinctive wines are, as a result, full of the flavors and aromas that are helping to make the country one of the most exciting wine producing regions in the world.

    Nativa wines were the first in Chile to be made with grapes certified as organically grown. The country, indeed, offers excellent growing conditions for organic agriculture, with its four natural barriers – the Atacama Desert to the north, the Andes Mountains to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Antarctic glaciers to the south –providing natural isolation and protection of the vineyards.

    Led by Chief Winemaker, Felipe Ramírez, the Nativa team is passionate about embracing the natural environment and has implemented sustainable winemaking practices. The winery uses recycled materials for labels and packaging, produces grapes free of chemical residue, strives to improve soil fertility, and utilizes the maximum amount of renewable resources, all while maintaining the genetic diversity of the ecosystem.

    A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

    Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, 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 to produce cool-climate 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 light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like 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, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

    Carmenere

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    Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère has found great success in Chile, far from its birthplace of Bordeaux. Although Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape in Bordeaux, it is now virtually extinct there, though it has been thriving since the mid-nineteenth century in Chile. Originally mistaken for Merlot, it is now successful of its own accord and plantings continue to increase. It is bottled both on its own and as part of Bordeaux-inspired blends.

    In the Glass

    If not fully ripe, Carménère is often marked by a green, herbaceous character (think green bell pepper and green peppercorn), and expresses flavors of red berry and black pepper when just ripe. With additional hangtime at the end of harvest, it is reminiscent more of blackberry, blueberry, and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke, and soy sauce.

    Perfect Pairings

    Carménère can easily overpower lighter fare, but makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a richer sauce such as mole.

    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.

    RWC142523_2009 Item# 118585