TARAPACÁ | Gran Reserva | Carmenère | 2017


We will be evaluating wines in no particular order on no particular schedule. Just stay tuned and you will never miss our reviews. If the wine is tasted more than once, the rating table will be updated so as to reflect all the new impressions and observations.

Today we are also going to review a single-varietal carmenère wine from Maipo Valley, which is one of the most well-known wine-producing regions in Chile, and because today is November 24th – the Carmenère Day, we’ve decided to go with the best of them Gran Reserva Carmenère 2017 by Viña Tarapacá. Carmenère is a french grape variety that has excelled lately to a completely new level in Chile, which is now considered its new homeland. This is a variety that needs a long and sunny growing season, as it can struggle to fully ripen in all but the warmest of sites. If harvested when the grapes are not fully ripe, it may result in wines with a pungent herbaceous character and bitter tannins. Carmenère wines also contains higher levels of pyrazines – an aroma compounds that is also found in cabernet franc, that gives them subtle flavours of bell pepper and green peppercorn. This particular wine is made from grapes that are only sourced from soils of volcanic origin, with limey loam to clayey loam, with lots of gravel and good depth, with 80% of the wine aged for 12 months in french and american oak barrels (20% new oak and 80% used oak) and the other 20% of the wine was kept in stainless steel tanks to retain its primary fruit component intact. That said, without further ado, let’s take a look at the wine tasting results.
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:

concentration: deep
colour: ruby
clarity: hazy
hue/rim: purple


intensity: powerful
fruit profile: red fruits | black fruits | blue fruits
__red fruits: sour cherry | red plum | wild cherry
__black fruits: black cherry | blackcurrant
__blue fruits: blue plum | blueberry
fruit character: overripe

non fruit: floral | spice | oak | animal | earth | other
__floral: violets | lavender
__spice: red pepper | black pepper
__oak: roasted oakwood | tobacco
__animal: veal | leather | barnyard
__earth: black soil | compost | truffles
other: brown olives
__wood: old & new / medium
aroma: primary | secondary | tertiary

sweetness: dry
acidity: high
alcohol: med(+)
tannin: medium
__grip: fine | ripe
body: round | medium
balance: good
__dominant: acidity | alcohol
complexity: complex

fruit profile: red fruits | black fruits | blue fruits
fruit character: overripe
non fruit: spice | oak | earth
finish: med(+)
aftertaste: appealingly-crisp | velvety

TARAPACÁ | Gran Reserva | Carmenère | 2017

variety: carmenère
country: Chile
region: Maipo Valley
rating: 92.5

maturity: youthful | on the rise
verdict: great | a must try
96x96This is definitely a great wine of Chile and, with a total of 92.5 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.

Verdict: this is one of the finest carmenère wines we’ve tasted so far – one that is still on the rise, as it has yet to reach the summit of its prime form, thus we would recommend another 3 to 4 years of bottle ageing. This wine is a blend of the best carmenère wines from the estate – it tastes round, lean and fruity-savory, with a very nuanced rustic accent and some subtle yet elegant hints of violets and truffles. It feels crisp, noble and well structured, with overwhelming acidity and a touch of alcoholic warmth on the palate. Despite its youthfulness, it has a fine tannic grip on the mouthfeel, leading to an extremely appealing mid-palate, firming beautifully on the finish, where all those fruity notes and rustic flavours glide alongside those subtle, oak-infused spicy hints. This is indeed a very fine carmenère wine. Enjoy it!
© The WineStatistics ratings are based solely on our own knowledge of the world of wine and on our personal wine tastes, which may, or may not, differ from yours – the reader. Just remember that there are no absolutes of right and wrong in wine appreciation.

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