Maquis Gran Reserva Carmenere 2018
With an expressive nose containing hints of laurel, spicy clove and a pleasant note of rosemary, this wine also exudes a layer of deep red fruits. On the palate, it’s fresh, with sweet tannins and a full-bodied flavor that ends in a lovely, lingering finish.
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The 2018 Carménère Gran Reserva is blended with 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, all from Colchagua and aged for 12 months in French barrels. Violet-red in the glass. The nose begins with smoke and cigar box, followed by white pepper and blueberry jam. Creamy and voluminous on the palate. The alcohol lends power and energy to the mentholated, herbal finish. A rich expression.
The Hurtado family has owned the Viña Maquis vineyard for more than a century, but it wasn’t until almost 20 years ago that the family decided to make their own wine out of the terrific grapes in their own backyard. They built a state-of-the-art gravity flow winery and set out to make the Maquis winery one of the great properties in all of South America.
Located in Colchagua Valley, the winery’s focus is on distinctive single-vineyard, estate wines, as well as producing “balanced” wines that are not over-ripe (resulting in excessively high alcohol) but also not exhibiting any of the “green” character that sometimes plagues wines picked from grapes that have not fully matured. The Maquis main vineyard is essentially an island: it is deeply influenced by the Tinguiririca River on one side and the Chimbarongo Creek on the other. These two large waterways once brought alluvial sediment from the Andes and today act as pathways for cool coastal breezes that help moderate the warm Colchagua summers, contributing to the intensity, character, fruitiness and mineral elements of the Maquis wines. Maquis is fortunate to have such a privileged location.
Well-regarded for intense and exceptionally high quality red wines, the Colchagua Valley is situated in the southern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with many of the best vineyards lying in the foothills of the Coastal Range.
Heavy French investment and cutting-edge technology in both the vineyard and the winery has been a boon to the local viticultural industry, which already laid claim to ancient vines and a textbook Mediterranean climate.
The warm, dry growing season in the Colchagua Valley favors robust reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah—in fact, some of Chile’s very best are made here. A small amount of good white wine is produced from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Dark, full-bodied and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère found great success with its move to Chile in the mid-19th century. However, the variety went a bit undercover until 1994 when many plantings previously thought to be Merlot, were profiled as Carménère. Somm Secret— Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.