92 Insider Points
A Grape Once Lost, Revived in All Its Glory.
When the phyloxera epidemic devastated Europe, the world nearly lost wine as we know it. Entire varietals were wiped out, gone forever to the pages of history. Carmenere was one of the grapes thought to be eradicated by the louse, but lucky for the world, what was thought to be a clone of Pinot Noir, turned out to be none other than the long lost Bordeaux OG. Today, it thrives as one of Chile's top grapes, and the Estampa winery has returned to inVino, proudly flying their flag over the unique treasure. 92 Points - JZ Oct '18
Colchagua Valley, Chile
From Marchigüe, within the now fashionable Colchagua Valley—the epicenter of all that is hot in Chilean wine. When written correctly, Carménère contains more than its fair share of accent marks. The grape also boasts a tremendous amount of character and complexity.
This one from Estampa is a profoundly concentrated red full of muscle and dark, brooking berry fruit. More than worthy of its “Gold” label, this Carménère comes from low-yielding vineyards and was treated to a minimum of one year in French oak before release. Wine Enthusiast notes: “An opaque dark color and concentrated aromas of lactic oak, eucalyptus, olive and spiced blackberry,” and “a bold, cutting finish” in this full-bodied red, which includes a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot for added aromatics and complexity.
· The Carmenere grape is of French origins, but it was the Chileans who took this “supporting-role” varietal (planted throughout Bordeaux) finally giving Carmenere the significance it deserved.
· Carmenere is a close relative of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and like these powerhouse varietals, it produces a wine of superlative fruit and spice, especially in the right hands.
· According to the Wine Enthusiast: “Chile has become a major player in the global wine market over the past decade, and within the country no region has distinguished itself as being more capable of producing world-class red wines than the Colchagua Valley.”
· The 90-point 2015 vintage in Chile brought in excellent quality fruit. According to the Wine Enthusiast: “The word on 2015 is that it was more of a textbook Chilean vintage, meaning warm, dry and uncomplicated.”
Spicy blackberry flavors combined with herbs and cedar notes make for a bold, well-balanced wine.
From the winery:
Viña Estampa began in 2001 as the result of the vision and entrepreneurial spirit of Miguel González-Ortiz, the winery’s owner and current president. From the beginning the winery focused on innovation and modern techniques to create world-class wines that would fully express the characteristics of the different varieties and their origin, the Colchagua Valley.
Estampa is the only winery in Chile that specializes in the production of blends, a technique that consists of carefully combining two or more fine varieties, each contributing its best characteristics, to create wines with tremendous balance and unique personality.
The creative spirit, the technical quality, and a great love of the land enable the creation of exceptional wines that are a true contribution to the Chilean wine industry and make Viña Estampa a world-class winery.
The modern Viña Estampa winery was inaugurated in 2001. It is located in the Palmilla zone in the heart of the Colchagua Valley on the Carretera del Vino (Wine Highway).
Architect Claudio Blanco designed the building in a contemporary geometric style, and its construction is based on three basic materials—steel (for a structure on pillars and the roof), fiber cement that looks like wood, and two volumes of exposed concrete.
The building houses all of the technological requirements for wine production and is also the center of operations for the Viña Estampa enological and agricultural areas.
Pair this with a rich tri-tip or a savory pork tenderloin.