Errazuriz Carmenere 2009 Wine Review
Aconcagua valley, Chile
Community Reviews: 2
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Bottle size: 750 ml
Natalie's Score: 88/100
An excellent full-bodied red, with gorgeous notes of fleshy ripe black plums, dark spices and some anise. Loaded with flavour, this wine keeps giving and giving ... until it's gone so stock up.
This Errazuriz Carmenere 2009 was reviewed on July 20, 2010 by Natalie MacLean
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The grapes for our 2009 Estate Carmenère came from our Max Vineyards in the Valle de Aconcagua, a region that features a Mediterranean climate where moderately warm summer days and cooling afternoon breezes. This condition results in a high diurnal temperature oscillation (20°C/36°F) in the weeks prior to harvest that encourages high concentrations of polyphenols (anthocyanins) and creates wines with great colour intensity. The vineyards soils are from alluvial origin and have very good drainage conditions. This alluvial base is topped with varying depths of colluvial deposits with low to medium vigour potentials. This combination encourages balanced vine growth and good maturation in the grapes. Vineyard management includes drip irrigation and cane pruning. Vertical shoot positioning provides the vines with longer solar exposure throughout the season and encourages the development of high quality fruit.
The essentially rain-free weather conditions during the 2008–2009 winegrowing season were particularly amenable to producing healthy fruit. The first half of the season (October–December) showed a decrease in the mean temperatures with respect to those registered during the 2006–2007 and 2007–2008 seasons, primarily due to a drop in average temperatures. The second half of the season (January–April), on the other hand, presented higher than usual average monthly high temperatures. The month of March was particularly warm, with several spikes in temperature that topped 32ºC (90ºF). As a result of these conditions, the Viña Errázuriz harvest took place just 4 to 7 days earlier than in an average year. Water management was essential for keeping the canopies active and preventing physiological blockages, so we increased irrigation by 20% with respect to an average year.
The grapes were hand picked during the second week of May, and immediately transported to the winery in bins, where they were gently crushed into stainless steel tanks and allowed to ferment immediately. Alcoholic fermentation took place at 24ºC – 28°C (75º–82°F) with 2 pumpovers per day. Because the grapes for this wine come from different vineyards, the length of the post-fermentation maceration depended upon the development of the individual lots. Some lots underwent short macerations in order to enhance tannins and colour. A third of the wine was aged for 8 months in French and American barrels with 1–3 uses, which helped round out the wine and contributed to a sweet mouthfeel. After the final blend was made, the wine was cold settled and lightly filtered before bottling.
Deep violet-red in colour, this wine shows in the nose spicy and fruity characters along with soft toasted hints from its oak ageing. In the mouth displays a smooth attack with round, firm tannins of silky texture, complemented by flavours of ripe red and black fruit along with a balanced acidity that bring a pleasant finish.
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