This fall, fans of Chilean Carmenère should keep an eye out for Carmín de Peumo, an ultrapremium heavyweight being launched by Concha y Toro. The wine, from the 2003 vintage, is due to reach American retail outlets and restaurants in October, but Wine Enthusiast got a sneak peek at this rich, silky, super lush wine in late May when winemaker Ignacio Recabarren visited New York.
The blend on Carmín de Peumo revolves around 90% Carmenère, a grape originally from Bordeaux that many Chileans hope may soon become the country’s signature grape (98% of the world’s Carmenère is now grown in Chile). Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and a tiny amount of Cabernet Franc fill out the wine, which hails from the top blocks of CyT’s prized Peumo Vineyard in the Cachapoal Valley. Of note, this is the same vineyard that produces the highly-rated Terrunyo Carmenère as well as Merlot and Syrah for the winery’s Marques de Casa Concha label.
Recabarren says Carmín, which is Spanish for the color Carmon, a shade of deep red, aims to be a wine of darkness and elegance. I found the wine to be extremely smooth and deeply flavored, maybe a bit soft, and meant to be drunk sooner than later. One thing we did learn during our tasting is that Carmín does not need decanting. It’s such a plush red that additional air steals zest and punch; bottle straight to glass is the better method.
Carmín de Peumo will carry a price of $75, and of the 500 total cases produced about 60% is destined for the U.S.
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