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Chile’s World Carmenere Competition – Take 2

Carmenere is ours. It may have been born in Bordeaux, but it found its roots in Chile and is definitely here to stay.

2nd World Carménère CompetitionCarmenere hasn’t always gotten the respect it deserves, and it was a typically rebellious and misunderstood teenager, back when it was “rediscovered” mixed among the Merlot vines in the early 1990s, but as it turns out, this former diamond in the rough polishes up quite nicely and the world is coming to respect our very Chilean Carmenere.

Want proof? Look no further than the results of the recent  Wine Spectator top 100 Results… right there on top is a shining example of what a well-behaved Carmenere can do (in this case finely complemented by its cousins Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). Lapostolle’s Clos Apalta proudly tops the list as the Number 1 wine for 2008.

And as proof that top Carmenere is no one-shot wonder, Chile’s Association of Agronomist Engineer-Enologists and the University of Talca sponsored their 2nd World Carmenere Competition and announced its results just days before Wine Spectator made its grand announcement. A total of 28 panelists (10 international, 18 Chilean) evaluated 180 entries and came back with 36 gold and 24 silver medals.

The wines were grouped into three categories: Mono-varietal (Pure) Carmenere , Carmenere Blends, and Experimental Carmenere . In general today’s Carmenere wines-some oaked, some pure fruit-deliver nicely concentrated wines with with soft tannins, plenty of black fruit and a decidedly spicy (think black pepper) edge. Looking for a new Carmenere to try? Take a clue from one of these winning choices!

And to see more (in Spanish): www.planetavino.com/reportajes/detalle.asp?id=350

Grand Trophy Winners:

Best Carmenere Monovarietal: Viña Concha y Toro, Winemaker’s Lot Carmenere Nº 148, 2007

Best Carmenere Blend: Viña Caliterra, Reserva, 2007

Best Experimental Carmenere:
Viña Tinajas del Maule, Experimental Carménère, 2008

Grand FIJEF Award (French Féderation Internationale des Journalistes & Ecrivains du Vin – Association Loi de 1901) for the Highest Scoring Carmenere: Viña Portal del Alto.

Gold Medals:
Viña Carta Vieja, Limited Release Reserva Carmenere , 2008.
Viña Casa Silva, Altura, 2003.
Viña Casa Silva, Doña Dominga Reserva Carmenere , 2006.
Viña Casa Silva, Microterroir de los Lingues Carmenere , 2006.
Viña Casa Silva, Quinta Generación, 2007.
Viña Casa Tamaya, Tamaya Reserva Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Casablanca, El Bosque Winemaker’s Choice Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Casas Patronales, Cabernet Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Casas Patronales, Carmenere 2007
Viña Casas Patronales, Carmenere Reserva, 2007.
Viña Concha y Toro, Casillero del Diablo Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Concha y Toro, Sunrise Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Cremaschi Furlotti, Tierra del Fuego Edición Limitada, 2005.
Viña Errázuriz, Arboleda Carmenere 2006
Viña Errázuriz, Estate Carmenere 2007.
Viña Errázuriz, Kai Carmenere , 2005.
Viña Estampa, Estampa Gold Carmenere , 2004.
Viña Haras de Pirque, Equus Carmenere 2007
Viña Morandé, Edición Limitada Carmenere , 2006.
Odjfell Vineyards, Orzada Carmenere , 2005.
Viña Portal del Alto, Alcar de Terravid, 2003.
Viña San José de Apalta, Reserva Carmenere , 2007
Viña San Pedro, Castillo de Molina Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Santa Carolina, Reserva de Familia Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Santa Cruz, Chamán Gran Reserva, 2006.
Viña Santa Rita, Medalla Real Reserva Especial Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Santa Rita, Reserva Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Siegel, Crucero Reserva Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Terra Andina, Altos Carmenere Carignan, 2007.
Viña Valle Frío, Experimental Carmenere , 2008.
Viña Ventisquero, Grey Carmenere 2006.
Viña Ventisquero, Reserva Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Viu Manent, Reserva Carmenere , 2007.
Viña William Fevre, Grand Cuvee Carmenere , 2006.
Viñedos Emiliana, Adobe Carmenere , 2007.
Viñedos Emiliana, Emiliana Reserva Carmenere , 2007.

Silver Medals:
Viña Agustinos, Winemaker’s Selection Cabernet Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Anakena, Single Vineyard Carmenere , 2006.
Viña Bisquertt, Casa La Joya Gran Reserva Carmenere 2006.
Viña Caliterra, Tributo 2005.
Viña Caliterra, Tributo 2007.
Viña Casa Silva, Colección Carmenere 2007.
Viña Casa Silva, Silva Family Wines Cabernet Carmenere 2007.
Viña Córpora, Veranda ODA Carmenere 2007.
Viña Cremaschi Furlotti, Tierra del Fuego Reserva Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Errázuriz, Single Vineyard Carmenere , 2006.
Viña Indómita, Duette Carmenere Cabernet 2006.
Viña Misiones de Rengo, Cuveé Carmenere 2007
Viña Misiones de Rengo, Reserva Carmenere 2007.
Viña Montes, Montes Lote 400 Carmenere , 2007.
Viña Ocho Tierras, Carmenere 2007.
Quasar Wines, Quasar Gran Reserva Carmenere , 2005.
Viña San José de Apalta, Carmenere , 2007.
Viña San Pedro, 35 Sur Carmenere 2007.
Viña Santa Rita, 120 Carmenere 2007.
Viña Tarapacá, Gran Tarapacá Carmenere 2007.
Viña Tarapacá, Tarapacá Gran Reserva Carmenere 2007.
Viñedos Emiliana Novas Carmenere Cabernet 2006.
Viñedos Errázuriz Ovalle, Veo Última Carmenere , 2007.
Viñedos Terranoble, Reserva Carmenere , 2007.

2nd World Carménère Competition

2 Responses to “Chile’s World Carmenere Competition – Take 2”

  1. [...] So what did I discover? Misiones de Rengo, to be specific.  It produces really nice little reds – carmenere, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, all of which you can get for about $3.75  a bottle for the non-reserva.   The reserva is about $8 a bottle if you really want to splurge.  My little book (which I was delighted to read is for “wine geeks!” woo hoo) has only good things to say about Misiones – “at the lower levels, Misiones’ wines conform to a sound commercial style.  In the Reserva and Cuvee ranges, however, the standard rises noticeably and the wines offer good quality and outstanding value for money.” (pp. 205, if you are interested in reading more).  Its 2007 Carmenere apparently won awards as well – here’s a great site for a much more educated opinion on Chilean wine! [...]

  2. My family(including two sons)drink Chilean before any other wine. Recently my second son was in Malta for a wedding and drank a carmenere aptly named Tierra del Fuego. He thought it was an exceptional Carmenere but so far we are not having any success finding where it can be bought in the in UK ?? Any advice or help would be appreciated

    Chris Antonopoulos

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