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Structured like a classified Bordeaux, the 1998 Carmen Reserve Grande Vidure (60%), Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) is full of red fruits, spice and other lush decadent flavors. However, this wine’s best is yet to come as a layer of tannin will peel away, revealing secondary characteristics: coffee, berry, chocolate and bacon fat - the very flavors the Bordelais refer to as “gras” or fat. Bottled unfiltered, the Carmen Grande Vidure/ Cabernet Sauvignon is highly extracted and beautifully balanced in a medium to full-bodied format. Although quite enjoyable now, it will certainly benefit from further aging. If you choose to drink it now, open it several hours before serving and decant it. Pour carefully as the wine may throw a harmless sediment that underscores its natural treatment and lack of filtration.
We recommend the Carmen Reserve Grande Vidure/Cabernet Sauvignon with the best cuts of lamb and beef money can buy. In short, treat this wine like you would a fine Bordeaux. On the other hand, it would also make a wonderful complement to a tray of well-aged French cheeses. What a way to end a great meal! Better yet, drink this wine in place of dessert!
Carmen is Chile’s oldest wine brand, dating back to 1850. With over 150 years of experience and more than 550 acres of vineyards spread across several valleys outside of Chile’s capital, Santiago, this winery’s constellation of individual microclimates allows Carmen to select the best grape varietals from each area to produce deep, complex award-winning wines. Since its inception, Carmen has been extremely successful with traditional Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc.), including the lesser known Carmenere. This varietal is believed to have originated in Bordeaux where it was known as Grande Vidure. In 1992, Carmen built a state of the art winery to crush and vinify their grapes under optimum conditions. Presently, they can crush nearly 16 million pounds of grapes per year which are stored in new 40,000 liter stainless steel tanks and over 3,500 French and American oak barrels. Since 1993, Carmen has been under the direction of the Chilean born Bordeaux-trained oenologist, Alvaro Espinoza. Alvaro has been building an international reputation for producing many of Chile’s highest quality wines. He is known as both an excellent winemaker and a wine grower. Under his watchful eye, Carmen has become the first winery in Chile to receive certification for organic grape production.
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