Estimados Amigos,

Tengo el agrado de confirmarles que la degustación especial del Club sobre vinos Carménère se realizará el 12 de enero del 2012 a las 12:30 en el restaurant CAPR.  Salvo error u omisión involuntarios,  hasta el momento se han inscrito los siguientes socios: Juan Luis, Alfonso, Orlando, Miguel, Mario, Amnon, Wilson, Jairo.

Informaron que no asistirán: Italo, Cecilio-Augusto.

La selección y presentación de los vinos la harán Orlando y Mario.  Miguel generosamente donará una botella de un Carménère muy especial, cuya procedencia y características prefiere na revelar por el momento.  Yo estaré fuera de Washington y regresaré el 6  de enero, justo a tiempo para finalizar los arreglos con el CAPRI.   Estoy en contacto con Orlando para la selección y compra de los vinos.

A  todos un muy Feliz Año Nuevo en compañía de sus seres queridos.

Estimados Notables,

La reunión especial sobre Carménère estuvo muy interesante y amena.  Asistieron: Amnon, Wilson, Jairo, Juan Luis, Alfonso, Orlando, Miguel, Hugo, Ítalo y Mario.  La degustación estuvo a cargo de Orlando y Mario, quienes hicieron presentaciones sobre la cepa Carménère y sobre las regiones y las viñas de origen y las características de los vinos que inicialmente se habían elegido para la reunión.  Cabe destacar la excelente presentación que hizo Miguel sobre la caracterización del vino Carménère.

Los vinos originalmente seleccionados fueron:

1.            2010 Veranda  Sauvignon Blanc, Quinel single Vineyard.  Bio-Bio region

2.            2009 Montes Alpha Carménère. Colchagua valle. Marchigüe Vineyard.

3.            2008 Santa Rita Medalla Real. Single Estate Vinyard. Colchagua Valley

4.            2009 Veranda Carménère. Colchagua Valley. Apalta single Vineyard

También se degustaron dos vinos que generosamente donó Miguel Segovia y que vinieron muy bien, en vista que la asistencia de socios fue mayor que la prevista:

5.         2000 Veramonte Primus (60% Carménère, 22% Merlot y 18% Cabernet Sauvignon), y

6.         2004 Carménère Errázuriz, Single Vineyard, Aconcagua Valley

El  MENU fue el siguiente:

  • Entrada:                       Tegamino di vongole (clams) con salsa blanca
  • Pasta:                           Spaghetti con Polpette (albóndigas)
  • Ensalada:                     Insalata tricolore: rucola, endive y radicchio con salsa     de balsámico y aceite de oliva extra virgen
  • Plato principal:           Flank steak con salsa de hongos y vegetales (berenjena, zucchinis y tomate).
  • Postres:                       de la lista.

Adjunto a este mensaje les envío la información detallada que se había preparado para la degustación.

Atentos Saludos,




Veranda Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard   Bio-Bio Chile

12.5% alchool    US $ 16.00 + taxType: White Wine        Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker’s motes: Distintive aromatic nose with nice freen methoxyprazine notes and chalky edger. The palate is livery and fruity with nice density. Bold but also has some sweet fruit.

International Wine Cellar  89

Int’l Wine Cellar – Bio Bio Valley, Chile- “Restrained aromas of green apple, citrus and jasmine, plus a subtle ginger nuance. Tight and firm on the palate, offering bright pear, apple and lime flavors. Very dry but ripe featuring underlying minerality and gentle acidity adding cut to a dry, spicy finish.”Crisp, Tropical, Herbal, Light bodied


The Colchagua Valley is a wine-producing region in central Chile, constituting the Southernmost portion of the larger Rapel Valley. The Cachapoal Valley, to the north, makes up the other half. Colchagua Valley is a name associated with several prestigious Chilean wines. Apalta, made famous by Casa Lapostolle’s Clos Apalta red blend and more recently by Montes’ ‘Folly’ Syrah, is a sub-region of Colchagua. Equally prestigious is the Los Vascos winery, co-owned by Santa Rita and the Barons de Rothschild of Bordeaux. In fact, Colchagua is consistently producing wines of great quality and is receiving high praise. Some wine commentators are predicting a bright future for Colchagua. Colchagua is a little cooler than its northerly cousin Maipo, but still maintains a consistently Mediterranean climate. As with most areas of Chile, the Pacific Ocean offers a cooling influence – a saving grace at a latitude of 34 degrees south, which is closer to the equator than any European vineyard. The degree of cooling provided by the ocean varies from east to west in the Colchagua Valley, demonstrated by the distribution of red and white grape varieties. As a general rule, white varieties benefit from cooler climates, while red varieties capitalize on drier, warmer conditions. The dominance of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Malbec and Merlot plantings in the warmer east is mirrored by that of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the ocean-cooled west. The Tinguiririca river is a key feature in Colchagua, as it flows along the northern edge of the region and through the town of Santa Cruz, around which many wineries are based. The river brings clear meltwater down from the Andean peaks to the valleys and vineyards below, transporting silts and clays with it and creating ideal soils and terrains for viticulture.


Colchagua Valley, Chile – Concentrated, Blueberry, Plum, Full bodied. Minty, chocolaty ripeness. It has a touch of herbal quality, with earthiness and plenty of creamy black fruit and vanilla. On the palate this has velvety black fruit with a tang of blueberry and plum skin acidity. Nice spice and toast and a plush, thick palate.

Expert Reviews

Rated: 90 by Josh Reynolds, Mar/Apr 09

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

Inky ruby. Cherry and dark berry liqueur aromas are complicated by pipe tobacco, roasted coffee and licorice qualities. Broad, palate-staining dark fruit flavors are framed by velvety tannins and gain sweetness with air. Packs serious punch but carries no fat and betrays no rough edges. The tannins fade away on the finish, which strongly repeats the dark berry notes. Burgundy-based winemaker Pascal Marchand oversees this project.

Comments by Airtuak5500, April 21, 2011
I don’t want to let the powers of suggestion distract your taste buds and synapses, but let me tell you…. Never have I had a wine that has complexities and such a full body that is perfect for all occasions and all levels of wine drinkers. It’s a great quality SINGLE VINEYARD wine that comes at an honest price. I see a very bright future for this area.


One of TGIC’s first imports, Montes started vineyard operations in 1987. Previously, the Chilean wine market had been satisfied to produce a low-quality bulk wine for export and consumption. However, the vision of the Montes’ founding partners— Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand— was to produce world-class wines from Chile. They achieved this with their “Alpha” line of wines, and Montes was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Wine Spectator in 2002 and 2006.Deep and live ruby red color. The wine has a very elegant and evident Carmenère tipicity, showing lovely black pepper aromas with hints of red berries, chocolate, a bit of vanilla and black plums. In the mouth is distinctively smooth, with rounded and soft tannins. Long finish. The oak is beautifully integrated and balanced.

89 points

Wine Notes & Recommendations

Grape Varieties: 90% Carmenère and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Appellation: Colchagua Valley, Chile.

Aging; 12 months in new and used French oak barrels.

Yield of Vineyard: 7.5 tons per hectare (3 tons per Acre).

Cellaring: Can be enjoyed now or cellared for at least 10 years.



Heritage and enterprise are hallmarks of Santa Rita, one of Chile’s premier wine estates. Founded in 1880 by Domingo Fernandez in Chile’s Maipo Valley, this historic property was among the first to pioneer plantings of European grape varieties in Chile. In 1980, it was acquired by its present owner, Ricardo Claro, under whom Santa Rita has reaped the rewards of continuous investment, resulting in a period of impressive growth, during which the winery has consolidated its position in the vanguard of Chile’s most successful and innovative estates. Initiatives include the highly successful launch of Santa Rita’s 120 Series of wines and a range of ultra-premium wines, notably the highly acclaimed Casa Real and Triple C. Wide-ranging enhancements embrace the purchase of choice new vineyards, plantings with top quality clones, improved trellising and irrigation, balanced viticulture, restricted yields, later harvesting, individual block farming, small-lot vinification, and an increased emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

Today Santa Rita exports to more than 70 countries worldwide. The property accounts for outstanding vineyards in Chile’s most important appellations – the Maipo Valley; Casablanca; Rapel; Apalta; Leyda and Curicó – enabling access to diverse climates and terrain.



Expert Reviews

Rated: 90 by Josh Reynolds, Mar/Apr 10

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

Opaque ruby. Pungent bouquet of dark berry and cherry preserves, candied licorice and incense. Lush, creamy dark fruit flavors become spicier with air. The finish is expansive, sweet and impressively persistent, leaving spice and floral notes behind. Plenty seductive now but this has the concentration to age.

Expert Ratings

Wine Spectator: 87 points



The Maule Region was the center of one of Chile’s most important wine events November 16–18. The second World Carménère Competition—the only one of its kind— was organized by Chile’s National Association of Agronomic Engineers- Winemakers and took place in Talca with the participation of distinguished national and international judges. Viña Santa Rita earned excellent scores in all of the wines submitted to the competition. The 2007 Medalla Real Carménère and the 2007 Reserva Carménère earned Gold Medals with 91.5 and 90.5 points respectively. The 2007 120 Carménère received a Silver Medal for its 88.88 points.



All the information in this summary has been taken from the internet, with minimum format changes

Two articles with different depths of detail are included in the summary

The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot.

A member of the Cabernet family of grapes,[1] the name “Carménère” originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) which refers to the brilliant crimson color of the autumn foliage prior to leaf-fall.[2] The grape is also known as Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym,[3] although current European Union regulations prohibit Chilean imports under this name into the European Union.[4] Along with Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux, France.[5][6]

Now rarely found in France, the world’s largest area planted with this variety is in Chile in South America, with more than 8,800 hectares (2009) cultivated in the Central Valley.[7] As such, Chile produces the vast majority of Carménère wines available today and as the Chilean wine industry grows, more experimentation is being carried out on Carménères potential as a blending grape, especially with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Carménère is also grown in Italy’s Eastern Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions[8] and in smaller quantities in the California and Walla-Walla regions of the United States.

Carménère wine has a deep red color and aromas found in red fruits, spices and berries.[1] The tannins are gentler and softer than those in Cabernet Sauvignon and it is a medium body wine.[9] Although mostly used as a blending grape, wineries do bottle a pure varietal Carménère which, when produced from grapes at optimal ripeness, imparts a cherry-like, fruity flavor with smoky, spicy and earthy notes and a deep crimson color. Its taste might also be reminiscent of dark chocolate, tobacco, and leather. The wine is best drunk young.[2]

Carménère leaf.

One of the most ancient European varieties, Carménère is thought to be the antecedent of other better-known varieties; some consider the grape to be “a long-established clone of Cabernet Sauvignon.”[10] It is possible that the variety name is an alias for what is actually the Vidure, a local Bordeaux name for a Cabernet Sauvignon clone once thought to be the grape from which all red Bordeaux varieties originated. There have also been suggestions that Carménère may be Biturica, a vine praised in ancient Rome and also the name by which the city of Bordeaux was known during that era.[10] This ancient variety originated in Iberia (modern-day Spain and Portugal), according to Pliny the Elder; indeed, it is currently a popular blending variety with Sangiovese in Tuscany called “Predicato di Biturica”[11]

The Carménère grape has known origins in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France[12] and was also widely planted in the Graves until the vines were struck with odium.[13] It is almost impossible to find Carménère wines in France today, because a Phylloxera plague in 1867 nearly destroyed all the vineyards of Europe, afflicting the Carménère grapevines in particular such that for many years the grape was presumed extinct. When the vineyards were replanted, growers could not replant Carménère as it was extremely hard to find and more difficult to grow than other grape varieties common to Bordeaux.[14] The region’s damp, chilly spring weather gave rise to colure, “a condition endemic to certain vines in climates which have marginal, sometimes cool, wet springs”,[15][12] which prevented the vine’s buds from flowering. Yields were lower than other varieties and the crops were rarely healthy; consequently wine growers chose more versatile and less colure-susceptible grapes when replanting the vines and Carménère planting was progressively abandoned.



Far from being extinct, in recent years the Carménère grape has been discovered to be thriving in several areas outside of France. In Chile, growers almost inadvertently preserved the grape variety during the last 150 years, due largely to its similarity to Merlot.

Merlot grapes

Cuttings of Carménère were imported by Chilean growers from Bordeaux during the 19th century, where they were frequently confused with Merlot vines. They modeled their wineries after those in France and in the 1850s cuttings from Bordeaux, which included Carménère grape, were planted in the valleys around Santiago.[15] Thanks to Chile’s minimal rainfall during the growing season and the protection of the country’s natural boundaries, growers produced healthier crops of Carménère and there was no spread of phylloxera. During most of the 20th century Carménère was inadvertently collected and processed together with Merlot grapes (probably reaching up to 50% of the total volume) giving Chilean Merlot markedly different properties to those of Merlot produced elsewhere.[16] Chilean growers believed that this grape was a clone of Merlot and was known as Merlot selection or Merlot Peumal (after the Peumo Valley in Chile).[1] In 1994, Professor Jean-Michel Boursiquot[17] from the Montpellier‘s school of Oenology confirmed that an earlier-ripening vine was Bordeaux Carménère, not Merlot.[15] The Chilean Department of Agriculture officially recognized Carménère as a distinct variety in 1998.[18] Today, Carménère grows chiefly in the Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, and Maipo Province.[19]


A similar situation occurred in Italy when, in 1990, the Ca’ del Bosco Winery acquired what they thought was Cabernet Franc vines from a French nursery. The growers noticed that the grapes were different from the traditional Cabernet Franc both in color and taste. They also noticed that the vines ripened earlier than Cabernet Franc would have. Other Italian wine regions also started to doubt the origin of these vines and it was finally established to be Carménère. Although, in Italy, the variety is grown mainly in the northeast part of the country from Brescia to Friuli, it has only recently been entered into Italy’s national catalog of vine varieties and thus “no district has yet requested the authorization to use it”. Therefore, the wine “cannot be cultivated with its original name or specific vintage and the name cannot be used to identify the wine on the label with an IGT, DOC or a DOCG status assignment.”[20] Ca’ Del Bosco Winery names the wine it produces Carmenero. In 2007 the grape was authorised to be used in Italian DOC wines from Veneto (Arcole, Bagnoli di Sopra, Cori Benedettine del Padovano, Garda, Merlara, Monti Lessini, Riviera del Brento and Vicenza), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Collio, or Collio Goriziano) and Sardinia (Alghero).[21] Since a ministerial decree of 2009, producers of Piave DOC wines in 50 communes of the Province of Treviso, and 12 in the in the Province of Venice have been permitted where appropriate to specify the variety Carmenère on the wine label.[22]

Other regions

In modern-day France only a few hundred acres of Carménère officially exist, although there are rumors of renewed interest among growers in Bordeaux.[15]

Carménère has also been established in Eastern Washington‘s Walla-Walla Valley and in California, United States.[23] In the 1980s, Karen Mulander-Magoon, the co-proprietor of Guenoc and Langtry Estates Winery, in California’s Lake County, brought the grape to the vineyard. This was a joint effort with Louis Pierre Pradier, “a French research scientist and viticulturalist whose work involved preserving Carménère from extinction in France.”[15] Once the vines were quarantined and checked for diseases they were legalized for admission into California in the 1990s, where they were cloned and planted.

In Australia, three cuttings of Carménère were imported from Chile by renowned viticultural expert Dr Richard Smart in the late 1990s. After two years in quarantine, only one cutting survived the heat treatment to eliminate viruses and was micro-propagated (segments of individual buds grown on nutrient gel) and field grown by Narromine Vine Nursery. The first vines from the nursery were planted in 2002 by Amietta Vineyard and Winery in the Moorabool Valley (Geelong, Victoria) who use Carménère in their Angels’ Share blend.[24]

Carménère has also been established in small amounts in New Zealand. DNA testing confirmed in 2006 that plantings of Cabernet Franc in the Matakana region were in fact Carménère.


Carménère favors a long growing season in moderate to warm climates. During harvest time and the winter period the vine fares poorly if it is introduced to high levels of rain or irrigation water. This is particularly true in poor-soil plantings where the vine would need more water. Over-watering during this period accentuates the herbaceous and green pepper characteristics of the grape. The grape naturally develops high levels of sugar before the tannins achieve ripeness. If grown in too hot a climate the resulting wine will have a high alcohol level and low balance.[25] Carménère buds and flowers three to seven days later than Merlot and the yield is lower than that of the latter grape.[1][3] The Carménère leaves turn to crimson before dropping.[1]

Carménère is produced in wineries either as a single-variety wine (sometimes called a varietal wine), or as a blend usually with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc and/or Merlot.

Distinction from Merlot

Differences between Carménère and Merlot grapes

Genetic research has shown that Carménère may be distantly related to Merlot and the similarities in appearance have linked the two vines for centuries. Despite the similarities, there are some noticeable differences that aid the ampelographer in identifying the two vines. When young, Carménère leaves have a reddish hue underneath, while the leaves of Merlot are white. There are also slight differences in leaf shape with the central lobe of Merlot leaves being longer.[25] Merlot ripens two to three weeks earlier than Carménère.[1] In cases where the vineyards are interspersed with both varieties, the time of harvest is paramount in determining the character of the resulting blends. If Merlot grapes are picked when Carménère is fully ripe, they will be overripe and impart a “jammy” character. If the grapes are picked earlier when only the Merlot grapes have reached ripeness, the Carménère will have an aggressive green pepper flavor.[25]

Thus, although different, Merlot and Carménère were often confused but never thought to be identical. Its distinctive differences meant the grape was called a “Merlot selection” or “Merlot Peumal,” which was “a geographic reference to a valley south of Santiago where lots of Carménère was grown”[14] before its true identity was established.


A brief history of Carmenère

December 15, 2006, New York

In the time of pre-phylloxera Europe—the first half of the 18th century—in Bordeaux, the epicenter of the world wine trade, there were six so called noble grape varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Carmenère. After the root louse phylloxera destroyed the vineyards of Europe, and once replanting on resistant American rootstock began in the latter part of the 18th century, the Bordelaise vignerons had great difficulty cultivating the finicky, late ripening grape. Even though it previously added a much-desired color, complexity, and intensity to their blends, they failed to successfully resurrect it. Meanwhile, in Chile, an emerging wine industry based on the Bordeaux model was taking root. The Chileans imported rootstocks of all the noble varieties, intending to create great Bordeaux-style wines. Vineyards were planted and wines were made with these grapes for over a century, but trade was restricted within the borders of their country. A decade or so ago, as Chilean Merlot was exported, wine lovers were struck with its unique qualities. The wines offered more color and structure than commonly seen in Merlot, with an earthiness and complexity in the aroma and flavor profile. Perhaps it was the fact that Chilean vines were never subjected to phylloxera and remained planted on their own rootstocks. Maybe it was the soil, the climate, the clones, or the Andes. The topic was well debated until 1994, when the French viticulturist Jean- Michel Boursiquit determined through DNA testing exactly what made Chilean Merlot so different. Much of what everybody thought was Merlot was genetically identical to Carmenère, interplanted, cultivated, co-fermented, bottled, and labeled as Merlot. Oops. For more information on (oops) wines please contact: Tim McDonald

(707) 363-0174