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Professional Ratings: 90 Wine & Spirits
Region: Chile, South America
Varietal: Other Red Blends
Item no. 87133
Number 5 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!
Primus is a racy blend of Carmenère, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon made from the highest quality grapes at the Veramonte Estate. It showcases the rare Carmenère variety, a distinctive grape that has found its home in Chile.
Well structured with mature, ripe fruit that exhibits an evolved complexity with a seamless blending of the three varietals. Velvety, with a medium body and smooth, yet powerful tannins.
Chile claims the lost Bordeaux grape
Once a widely planted variety in Bordeaux, Carmenère was all but forgotten after the phylloxera outbreak in the 1880s virtually wiped it off the European wine map. The happy news is that someone carried the vine (also known as Grande Vidure and Grande Carmenet) to Chile in the 1850s. At that time, Chile was welcoming a wine renaissance. The aristocracy was moving to the countryside with the vision of creating a wine industry to rival Europe's.
They planted the noble vines from France and for over a century, thought that the high-vigor vine with pinkish leaves was a special clone of Merlot or Cabernet Franc.
After masquerading as Merlot for over a century in Chile, it wasn't until the 1990s that Chilean winegrowers determined the mystery vines are not Merlot but the lost Bordeaux grape Carmenère. Since then, Chile has become synonymous with the lush and exotic wines made from Carmenère and is the only country producing Carmenère based wines. Salud!
"Unusually ripe for a Casablanca red, this blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and carmenère has the texture of melted chocolate and ripe flavors of fig and blueberry. A powerful acidity keeps a refreshing tension."
-Wines & Spirits
"The proprietary red wine, the 2004 Primus, is a blend of 47% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 23% Carmenere. It delivers an attractive perfume of pain grille, black cherry and blueberry. This is followed by a supple, ripe wine with no hard edges in a racy style. Drink this tasty, lively red over the next five years."