Wine Advocate 89 points - The 2004 Carmenere Pehuen is a saturated purple color with aromas of spice box, smoke, cassis, and blueberry. This leads to a full-bodied wine with plenty of blue fruit flavors, a firm structure, solid depth, and a lengthy, slightly tannic finish. Give it a few years in the cellar to round out and drink it from 2011 to 2019. (Oct 2008)
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Apalta (Colchagua Valley) and Maipo Valley
Wine maker notes
De-stemmed and partially crushed grapes were cold macerated for five days prior to the fermentation process, which was carried out at 28°C. Frequent pumping-over was performed during two thirds of the time and then reduced by half so as to extract the maximum potential from the wine. Post fermentation maceration for 20 days allowed this wine to develop its characteristic sweetness and roundness. Malolactic fermentation took place in 100% French oak barrels to ensure complete
structure and color set. The wine remained in the barrels for 18 months prior to bottling.
Matches well with barbecue, venison, wild game and fowl, ripe cheeses and spicy red meats.
Heritage and enterprise are hallmarks of Santa Rita, one of Chile’s premier wine estates. Founded in 1880 in Chile’s Maipo Valley, this historic property was among the first to pioneer plantings of European grape varieties in Chile. In 1980, it was acquired by its present owner, Gruppo Claro, under whom Santa Rita has reaped the rewards of continuous investment, resulting in a period of impressive growth, during which the winery has consolidated its position in the vanguard of Chile’s most successful and innovative estates.
Initiatives include the highly successful launch of Santa Rita’s 120 Series and Reserve wines and a range of ultra-premium wines, notably the highly acclaimed Casa Real, Triple C, the Floresta range and most recently, Pehuen. Wide-ranging enhancements include the purchase of choice new vineyards, plantings with top quality clones, improved trellising and irrigation, balanced viticulture, restricted yields, later harvesting, individual block farming, small-lot vinification, and an increased emphasis on sustainable agriculture.
The Santa Rita property accounts for outstanding vineyards in Chile’s most important appellations -- the Maipo Valley; Apalta; Casablanca; Rapel; Leyda and Curico -- enabling access to diverse climates and terrain. Visitors to Santa Rita can look forward to accommodation at the estate’s luxury hotel, the Casa Real, with its breathtaking 100-acre gardens, its magnificent museum housing a breathtaking collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, or enjoy dinner at the property’s landmark restaurant, the Dona Paula.