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Araucano Reserva Carmenere, Colchagua, Chile 2017



Carmenere is becoming increasingly popular and is widely thought of as Chile’s signature red grape variety and this is by far the best single varietal example that we have tried. Made by the famous Francois Lurton of the Lurton family of Bordeaux who have now branched out of France and are taking their generations of experience to make wine in other parts of the world. Francois is renowned for creating distinctive and high-quality wines and simply believes that “producing wine as naturally as possible is good for the environment, good for consumers, and tastes better!

Francois has been making wine in Chile since 1992 but struck gold in 2000 when he found his perfect site in the Araucano Estate. Situated around the small town of Lolol, in a South Western pocket of Colchagua Valley this is classic quality wine producing territory. It is just 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean and the Humboldt current which keep the vineyards cool allowing the grapes to ripen slowly, gradually developing the multitude of flavours and aromas that make this wine so special. The vines are approximately 12 years old, are grown organically and the wine is aged for 8 months in second fill French oak.

What we love about this wine is the blueberry! Just as with any wine all kinds of fruit can shine through but blueberry really dominates here with a hint of raspberry. The fruit is fresh and vibrant yet accompanied with notes of prune, white pepper, rosemary, thyme and eucalyptus. This is complex yet balanced, the herbaceous notes are mellow and beautifully integrated into the wine.

This would be absolutely perfect with a roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary, beef stroganoff or try it with mushroom wellington. Despite its complexity this wine is in no way overpowering so it is just beautiful without food too.

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