Elqui Carmenere Reserva
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Maiten Vineyard is Steffan Jorgensen’s principal vineyard and cool in temperature – A rocky, sandy, ancient riverbed sitting 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.
- 85% of the grapes in this wine come from Maiten. The remainder of the grapes in this wine come from the nearly impossible to farm El Tambo Vineyard – One of the more intense vineyard sites you’ll find in Chile.
- Carmenere grapes in El Tambo are harvested in mid-June and are literally the last wine grapes harvested in all of Chile, picked after all of the leaves have fallen to the ground. Steffan calls this his favorite site for Carmenere Chile and he feels lucky to own it.
Varietal Composition: 100% Carmenere
Elaboration: Very long maturation period in the vineyards due to very cool nights which makes for an oscillation (day/night swings) of nearly 40F. Harvested by hand in 20 kg small crates. Fermentation takes places in stainless steel tanks with temperature controlled jackets to ensure certain temps are not exceeded. Very important to maintain fresh fruit characters in finished wines. Fermentation takes approximately 12-14 days with a total skin contact time of 3-4 weeks depending on lots. 100% barrel aged with a mix of new, 1st and 2nd use French, American and Hungarian oak barrels for 24 months
Tasting Notes: Aromas of black plum, Urfa pepper, and spring flowers. Round, silky palate, with more black fruit, cinnamon, and baking spice. Finishes long and spicy.
The Elqui is a transversal valley which borders the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Atacama Desert on the north, and the Andes Mountains to the east. Here, a cool breeze blows eastward across the Humboldt current, which flows from Antarctica north past Chile and Peru. These evening breezes cool the vineyards and lower night time temperatures almost 40 degrees, creating wonderful natural acidity in the grapes. The proximity to the Atacama, makes rain in this region extremely rare, extending the grape growing season by 6 weeks more than other regions of South America.
Steffan Jorgensen, who was previously chief winemaker at Bergevin Lane in Washington from 2006-2012 and his wife Pamela Nunez, a trained enologist from the prestigious University of Santiago, make small lot varietal wines and blends from 20 acres of estate fruit from their partner and vineyard owner’s property in 2 distinct locations in Elqui.
All wines are made with special attention to their minerality and earthy aspects and combine with Steffan’s style to deliver broad and voluptuous wines with great acidity.