Casas Del Bosque Gran Reserva Carmenere 2021
The typical pyrazine notes of this variety are soft and well-integrated, with spice fused with plums and blackberries.
On palate the wine displays elegance, with a freshness derived from an uncommon
acidity. The finish is broad and denotes an absence of astringent or bitter tannins.
While these grapes come from one of the warmest places in Chile, the wine has a coastal identity, setting it aside within the Carménère category.
90 points Wine Advocate
89 points James Suckling
89 points Vinous (Joaquín Hidalgo)
89 points Decanter
Chilean Carménère has quite a followance around the world, and for consumers who enjoy this particular variety, it´s all about the earthy notes and spiciness that make this wine so interesting. The most famous area for this grape is the broader Rapel appellation; however, for their Gran Reserva, Casas del Bosque sources the grapes from longtime growers located in the more specific Cachapoal Valley, where the most highly commended and awarded Carménères come from. The 2021 Gran Reserva Carménère in particular comes from Almahue town in the Peumo subappellation. The cooler-than-usual year reflects in a lighter profile, albeit a more perfumed style that leans a bit less towards the ripe fruit, and more towards the spicy features of this grape.
The grapes for this wine come from loamy, alluvial, well-drained soils around the Cachapoal river. Upon arrival at the winery, all grapes were destemmed and crushed to stainless steel tanks and inoculated with selected yeasts. Fermentation occurred quickly; temperatures reached peaks of 32ºC/90ºF. The wine was then left to macerate for an additional 7 days, for added structure and longevity. The resulting wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrels, of which 20% were new, and it was left to age for 10 months. The wine was finally assembled, filtered and bottled. 2,800 cases were produced.
The fruit is sourced from an area called Almahue, long recognized for the quality of its Carménère, and part of the famed Peumo sub-appellation. Planted in the early 1990´s, average temperatures in summer reach 21.8ºC (71ºF), and in winter 10.8ºC (52ºF). Mean diurnal shifts in March are 17ºC (63ºF), and yearly rainfall is 315 mm on average, falling mostly between May and September. The crop yields were less than 8 tons per hectare for this vintage (2.3 tons per acre), with 2021 being a rather cold year, characterized by a midsummer rain on January 31 st . The grapes were harvested by hand on April 1st.