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2011 Santa Carolina Herencia Carmenere 750ml

2011 Santa Carolina Herencia Carmenere

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Over the last few years, Herencia has risen to the top of Chile's Carmenère kingdom. This vintage opens with rich aromas of vanilla, barrel spice, pepper, herbs and black fruits. A full dense palate is balanced, while this tastes dark and spicy, with lightly baked black-fruit flavors that finish intense and oaky. Drink through 2022. MICHAEL SCHACHNER

94 Points - Wine Enthusiast

Producer: To be added
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Price: $119.99
Sale Price: $99.99

Availability: 14

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Available Vintages:
2009(750ml)  2011(750ml)  


Varietal: Carmenere
It is no wonder Carmenere is often compared to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Offering the soft plummy fruit of Merlot while maintaining the tannic structure of Cabernet Sauvignon it remains distinct imparting a spicy and peppery quality. Once widely cultivated in Bordeaux, Carmenere's niche now lies in forming some of the most popular varietal wines of Chile. Due to the grapes susceptibility to poor fruit set (coulure) and low yields, Carmenere was one of the varieties that didn't get replanted after the Phylloxera epidemic that hit Bordeaux at the end of the 19th Century. Meanwhile in Chile it wasn't until 1994 that the grape, which many mistook for Merlot and that contributed a large proportion of the countries quality wine, was correctly identified. In addition a large swathe of what was thought to be Cabernet Franc in northern Italian regions of Lombardy, and Veneto turns out to have been Carmenere.

Country: Chile
After returning to a democracy and free market economy in the 1980s, it was, as if out of nowhere that Chile re-entered the international wine scene. Its geography protects the viticultural industry with 3,000 miles of coastline to the west, the Andes mountains to the east, the Atacama desert to the north, and the Antarctic to the south. Free from most pests, including Phylloxera (which has ravaged vines throughout the world), most producers have no need to spray any pesticides, making it quite easy to farm organically. A significant amount of production is located within the central valley, which stretches from the Maipo valley, the closest wine region to Santiago, south 155 miles to the Maule Valley. The most popular wines are those made from Cabernet Sauvignon, which prospers in the Mediterranean and accounts for over 50% of the countries dark skinned varietals. Carmenere has now been firmly marketed as the countries signature grape. While its plantings are increasing rapidly, it currently accounts for just under 9000 hectares or 12% of all red grapes. Areas showing potential for growth and diversity are Elqui and Limari to the far north and the two coastal regions of Casablanca and San Antonio, all of which are carving out their niche for cool climate varieties including Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

Region: Colchagua Valley
Located 180 km (110 mi) south of Santiago, the southernmost portion of the Rapel Valley is one of Chile’s best known wine regions and has earned much applause for its full-bodied Cabernet, Carménère, Syrah, and Malbec, and its wines regularly appear high on the world’s lists of leading wines. The majority of the wineries are concentrated in the center of the valley, although new plantations climb hillsides and explore the western frontier toward the sea.

Sub-Region:

Type: Red
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used. Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.