Our selection comes to us from Los Morros, which means "hills," and refers to the hills that run alongside the vineyards of winemaker Miguel Besoain's family home in Chile's Central Valley. Miguel learned his winemaking skills in Chile, but expanded upon them with stints in France and Germany before joining his father in the family estate.
The Carmenere grape's name comes from Carmin-a French word meaning crimson. It is in reference to the crimson color of the leaves on the vine before they fall off. It is an interesting grape that is the naturally occurring cross between Cabernet Franc and Gros Cabernet. The reason that Carmenere disappeared from Bordeaux was due to this grape demanding consistent warmth in its long growing season, which was something that Bordeaux simply could not dependably offer. The result was lower yields and viticultural problems due to excessive rain. It therefore was ripped out of its home and thought of to be extinct until the 1990s when winemakers in Chile cultivated a late ripening clone of Merlot that turned out to be the missing Carmenere. The grape wound up in Chile from immigration when many Europeans resettled in Chile and brought with them grape vines to propagate and grow.
The wrong climate can make growing this grape very challenging and problematic. Carmenere, however, lives up to its full potential in the Central Valley of Chile. The juicy berry and cedar aromas mix with leather and caramel, combining with rich, ripe fruit just waiting for chicken cacciatore, a beef stew or pork carnitas.