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Vina San Pedro 1865 Carmenere Reserva 2011

Carmenere from Chile
  • WS91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Very dark, violet with black notes.Intense spices accompanied by soft green pepper, characteristic of this variety. There are toasted, vanilla, and smoke aromas from barrel aging, a very elegant aroma, a divergence from the traditional varieties.

This is a high-bodied wine, very gentle and rich, combining many flavors. It is highly complex and leaves a velvety, sweet sensation, lots of tannins from the attack to the end, but very sweet. The oak combines well with the variety's spices; it is a long wine, leaving a sensation of maturity.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Precise and savory, with a powerful cocoa powder accent to the intense cherry, wild berry and currant flavors. Concentrated notes of clove and olive carry through to the finish. Drink now through 2018. 13,000 cases made.
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Vina San Pedro

Vina San Pedro

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Vina San Pedro, Chile
Founded in 1865 by the Correa Albano brothers, Viña San Pedro is today the second largest Chilean wine exporter and the country's third biggest winery. The winery is located in Curicó Valley, where San Pedro owns one of the largest continuous area of vineyards in South America, with 1,200 hectares. In total San Pedro has over 2,500 hectares planted all along the Central Valley. Since 1990 the company has long term contracts and has been acquiring vineyards in Chile's other main viticulture valleys, such as Leyda, Colchagua, Maipo, San Antonio, Casablanca, Elqui and Limarí. Today these vineyards provide perfect conditions for several varieties.

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.

FED567440_2011 Item# 133518