Carmen Wineries, founded in 1850, is Chile's oldest winery. Over the years, they have made a thorough canvass of Chile's vast wine growing regions, and established vineyards in some of the major production areas. Carmen consistently ranks among the top 10 wineries in Chile, and in recent competitions, their lines of Maipo Valley Reserva red wines have won gold and silver medals at Epicuro Magazines' blind tasting competition.

Variety of Climate and Wines

Growers produce many wine varieties along the extensive Pacific Coast region where sea breezes bring cool nights during the height of the growing season. These are perfect conditions for Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grape production. Others areas are inland in rich volcanic soils where a wide variety of terrains, altitudes, and weather conditions produce an exceptional range of wines. Among steep valleys that moderate day and night temperatures, with excellent drainage and unique soils, Carmen has found excellent conditions for rich red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot.

Grown in Inland Valleys

Production of Carmen Merlot in Chile has been successful in the Alto Maipo Valley and Colchagua Valley. In both regions, the Merlot has established characteristics from the soil and growing conditions. The rich red wine has an overall aromatic quality; Buyers report similar to mulberry and black currants. Well known for red wines with a definite structure, soft tannins, and a well-balanced mild acid, the Alto Maipo Valley is a leading wine region in Chile. Similarly, Colchagua Valley wines have distinct fruit tones described as berry or plum.

Prize Winning Lines

Carmen Merlot in Chile has two labels, the Reserva Merlot from the Colchagua Valley and the Grand Reserva Merlot from Alto Maipa Valley. All Carmen Merlots from Chile are barrel-aged wines that take on additional complex flavors from the wood aging. The length of aging also affects the acidity and the wines sweeten slightly over time. The growing attention and list of awards reflect the continuous efforts by Carmen Wines to improve their vintages and a willingness to compete with the best wines from South America.

Moderately priced these Carmen Merlots are ready to drink. In recent years, many vintages have become popular and broadly available in the US and Europe. Unlike mass-produced Chile Merlot described as Central Valley wines, these well-made Carmen Merlot vintes proudly reflect the precise growing regions. These prize-winning lines are excellent with a wide range of meat and vegetable dishes.

Source by Kevin J O'Rourke

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