Serious nose of ripe dark fruit enlivened by a subtle hint of herbs. Great concentration of luscious black fruit on the palate with a well-crafted backbone of firm, grippy tannins. There's a touch of green bell pepper and a hint of mint keeping things fresh. Great potential here.
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Viniterra, Select Carménère, Mendoza, Argentina 2013
More renowned as a speciality of neighbouring Chile, Viniterra has carved out for itself a reputation for being able to craft fine wines from the Carménère grape with similar adroitness. Planted at over 1,000 metres above sea level in the province of Luján de Cuyo the grape seems to thrive, revelling in the magnificent sun exposure.
Winemaker José Rudecindo Ponce, who has been in the business since the mid-1990s – in Argentina as well as North America – admits that it is something of a curiosity for the country: ‘It is not a typical variety for Argentina,’ he says. ‘But we found that here it enjoys a perfect climate and although it does take a long time for it to reach optimal ripeness it does so comfortably, thanks to the defoliation we carry out in the vineyard and the high ultraviolet radiation we receive due to the altitude; we also keep yields low, at just 4,000kg of grapes per hectare’.
Following fermentation, the grapes are left to macerate for approximately three weeks. The wine is then transferred to high quality French oak barrels (second use) where they age for a further year, before finally spending at least eight months in bottle before being released.