COUNTRY/REGION: Chile/Aconcagua Valley.
GRAPES: 96% Carmenere, 4% Petit Verdot & Syrah.
A deep, intense reddish-violet colour. The nose offers aromas of spice and black fruit intermingled with notes of black pepper, tobacco, and roasted red pepper, resulting in a highly complex blend. The palate unfolds with subtle notes of truffle, cocoa, and toasted coffee accompanied by smooth, voluminous tannins, giving this wine a great structure that fills the palate, creating a beautiful balance of fruit and oak. A wine with great depth and an incredible, prolonged finish.
VINEYARDS: The grapes were selected from the best blocks of our Max vineyards in the Valle de Aconcagua, a region with a long dry growing season and moderately warm summer days cooled by soft evening breezes blowing in from Pacific Ocean. The vertically-trained Max II and Max V Carmenère vines were planted in 1992 and 1993. Average yields here range from 1.5 to 2 kg per plant, which enables good fruit set and vigour control, resulting in wines with outstanding concentration, colour, and volume. The grapes were harvested quite late in the season to ensure good ripe fruit expression. The high daytime-night time temperature variation (averaging 19C/34¼F) in the weeks before harvest triggers high concentrations of anthocyanins, which intensify the colour of the wines.
VINTAGE: 2010 experienced temperatures that were on average lower than previous years. Consequently bud break was delayed, flowering got affected and the harvest began 10 days later than usual. However, the most notable aspect of the season was that ripening took place slowly, evenly, and gently, with temperatures that were quite moderate in March. The grapes reached harvest in excellent condition, which resulted in wines with very good expressions and concentration, good acidity levels, and fresh red and black fruit.
WINEMAKING: The grapes were handpicked and transported to the winery, where they were inspected twice on a sorting table to eliminate any plant remains and defective berries that could affect the final quality of the wine. After crushing, the must was deposited in stainless steel tanks, where it was fermented at 24-28¼ C . Several aerating pump overs were carried out to aid the polymerization of the reactive tannins, eliminate potential herbaceous notes, and help set the colour. Total maceration time for the Carmenère was 20 to 30 days, but only 7 for the Petit Verdot. Just 5% of the latter variety was added to the final blend to lend structure, a spiced quality, and freshness from its enjoyable, naturally high acidity. The wine was racked directly into 100% new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and a total of 20 months of aging.