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Producer: UndurragaGrape Varieties: Carmenère 100%Optimum Drinking: Within 5 yearsWine Style: Intense red wine with some oak complexityAlcohol by Volume: 14%Closure: CorkCountry: Chile
A smooth and fleshy Carmenère with an intense expression of raspberries and cherries with subtle hints of green pepper and fresh mocha through to a deliciously salivating finish.
Undurraga is one of Chile’s most prestigious wineries, consistently receiving high scores from top wine critics around the world. Founded in 1885, Undurraga owns 1,350 hectares of estate vineyard in Chile’s premium wine producing areas such as Leyda, Cauquenes and Itata. Head winemaker Rafael Urrejola has spent a great deal of time understanding the diversity of Chile’s vineyard sites; the result is the emblematic ‘Terroir Hunter’ range. Undurraga cultivates their vineyards with respect for the environment and follow a philosophy of minimal intervention in the cellar in order to showcase the terroir.
The grapes come from a specially chosen vineyard in Peumo, on the western side of the Valle de Cachapoal, an area known for producing the best Carménère wines in Chile. The climate in Peumo suits Carménère; its latitude ensures high temperatures throughout the ripening period, but its proximity to the Pacific Ocean results in gentle breezes that encourage the grapes to retain acidity resulting in fresh flavours and aromas in the wine. The vineyard is situated at 171 metres above sea level, where the red clay soils are one metre deep and retain moisture to nourish the vines. Below the clay profile lies decomposing granite rock with greater drainage, enabling excess winter and springtime moisture to drain for better plant balance. The grapes come from a small, low-yielding plot of ungrafted vines planted in 1998. The vines are subjected to strict irrigation control during the ripening period. The yield was just 1.7 kilograms per plant, providing the necessary concentration for a deeply flavoured wine.
The manually harvested grapes were rigorously selected to ensure that only the ripe, healthy clusters passed to the de-stemming stage. After crushing, the grapes underwent a pre-fermentation cold maceration under anaerobic conditions for eight days at 6 to 8°C. Fermentation took place with natural yeasts at 27 to 28°C for 14 days, with pump overs carried out three times per day. The wine was then left in contact with its lees and skins for another 17 days to enhance its structure. The wine was aged in French oak barrels, 35% of which were new, for 12 months.
Herbal and spicy notes give way to an intense expression of fresh raspberries and cherries with subtle hints of green pepper and a fine, granitic minerality. Notes of dark chocolate intermingled with sweet berries lead to refined, smooth tannins and a vibrant acidity that lends a fresh, juicy mouthfeel.
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