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Carmen has been fashioning world class wines for decades. Although best known for Carmenère, the Bordeaux varietal they “re-discovered” and brought to consumers’ attention worldwide, Carmen excels equally well with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, as the splendid 2010 Carmen Gran Reserva Petite Sirah will attest. Clothed in a royal purple robe, Carmen’s Gran Reserva Petite Sirah foreshadows the majestic statement that follows. Big, bold, and beautiful, this Gran Reserva offers up heady aromas of ripe cherries, black raspberries and plums before following through with explosive fruit and spice flavors in the mouth. Rich black fruit, dark chocolate, and deep woodland flavors wrapped in just the right amount of oak satiate the senses. Moreover, Carmen’s 2010 Gran Reserva Petite Sirah displays a healthy balance of fruit, tannin, acid and alcohol, but make no mistake; this wine packs a wallop. It weighs in at 14.5%+ alcohol. We suggest serving this world class Petite Sirah at cool room temperature (60°-66° F) after 15-20 minutes of aeration. Enjoy!
Petite Sirah, also known Durif in Europe, has long been a favorite of Italian immigrant families who migrated to North and South America. And with good reason; the grape’s rich, hearty flavors and high alcohol pair beautifully with spicy tomato sauces and highly charged Mediterranean dishes. Consequently, game, thick meaty cassoulets, herb roasted leg of lamb, and a dish called Penne a la Siciliana (penne pasta in a very thick fresh tomato sauce, with roasted garlic, eggplant, and herbs) are just a few of our favorite dishes to serve with Carmen’s 2010 Grand Reserva Petite Sirah. Grilled hot Italian sausage, lasagna, and Neapolitan style Eggplant Parmigiana all make wonderful companions to Carmen’s full throttle Petite Sirah, too. Short ribs, pork barbecue, brick oven meat or vegetarian pizzas, and flavorful cheeses also provide outstanding accompaniments to Carmen’s well endowed Petite Sirah. And some of us just like to sit and sip this deep, dark potion. Why not? It tastes just fine all by itself. Buen Provecho!
Carmen is Chile’s oldest wine brand, dating back to 1850. A century and a half ago Christian Lanz founded Viña Carmen and lovingly named the estate’s beautiful vineyards for his wife. Today, Viña Carmen remains the showpiece Lanz envisioned more than a century and half ago. Combining tradition, superb vineyards and a state of the art winery that was constructed in 1992, Viña Carmen is currently South America’s leading winery as well as its oldest. In the 1990’s, winemaker Alvaro Espinoza, a proponent of organic viticulture, moved Carmen to the forefront of South American producers and brought international renown to this venerable property, a position it retains today under the current regime. Wine & Spirits magazine has named Carmen “Top Winery of the Year” at least four times and current offerings are some of the finest this esteemed winery has produced to date.
Although located in Maipo Valley, Chile’s most fashionable wine address, Carmen’s vineyards spread across several valleys and include many micro-climates surrounding Chile’s capital, Santiago. This constellation of microclimates allows Carmen to select the best grape varieties for each area and to excel with many different grapes and styles of wine. The winery has been extremely successful with French varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, and Petite Sirah. Recent releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have been exceptional as well.
Internationally renowned winemaker Alvaro Espinoza, who joined Carmen in 1993 and helped boost the winery’s stellar reputation, was instrumental in isolating and identifying Carmenère as a unique grape variety. He then went on to produce some of South America’s most exciting Carmenère based wines and left a legacy that endures at Carmen. Alvarez also instituted organic farming at Carmen and greatly improved the estate’s white wines. Currently, Carmen uses no pesticides in its vineyards and is the leading force in Chile toward more environmentally sensitive viticulture. In addition, many of Carmen’s wines are bottled unfiltered to retain freshness and flavor. The winery has also made the commitment to use lighter bottles in an effort to cut waste and reduce the environmental impact of transport.
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