Carmen 2012 Carmenere Gran Reserva, Apalta Vyd., Colchagua
The Apalta in Chile's Colchagua Valley is a very special place, considered by most top be where the best grapes in all of Chile are grown. The combination of high altitude, good draining soils and a unique topography offer a perfect combination of micro-climatic factors. This wine form the the single Apalta Vineyard shows the depth of flavor and complexity that this place delivers for the signature grape of Chile, the spicy Carmenere. The grapes were handpicked and carefully sorted before crushing. A period of cold maceration for 7 days ensured maximum retention of primary fruit flavors and color extraction.
Fermentation was in stainless steel
with a long maceration period of 40 days. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 10 months. It scored a 94 point Platinum Medal in the Winemakers Challenge. They said "Tasters seem to agree that Carmenere from Chile makes itself known in the glass more than any other red wine on earth. This wine trumpets the fact, with signature meatiness and bell pepper character over black cherry and brown spice, all delivered with moderate tannins and a firm finish that keeps the flavors lingering." Pretty amazing for the price!
There are not many Carmeneres under $20 that I truly enjoy... however this is definitely one of them. Dense and dark fruit layers over the smoke and terroir base of this wine. It's supple and spicy on the palate with some tobacco and tar notes as well, lots of value at this price.