Viu Manent Carménère “El Incidente”
WHY WE LOVE IT
- El Incidente is Viu Manent’s wager on Carménère, now considered to be Chile’s emblematic variety. Although it disappeared from the Old World after the phylloxera attack in the mid-19th century, it was rediscovered, rather by accident, in Chile in the early 1990s.
- “El Incidente” is named after the now-legendary balloon flight Viu Manent’s Founder took with some friends over their Colchagua vineyards. The trip ended unexpectedly when they landed in the middle of an open air market in the town of Santa Cruz.
Varietal Composition: Carménère 97%, Malbec 3%
Elaboration: Upon arriving at the cellar, the bunches underwent a second selection to eliminate any remaining leaves and grapes with irregular ripening. They were then destemmed and the individual berries were subjected to a third selection to eliminate stems and any extraneous matter prior to undergoing a pre-fermentation cold soak at 8ºC for 7 days. Alcoholic fermentation followed in small stainless steel tanks at 26º–28ºC with 4 short pumpovers per day. Total skin contact was 26 days, after which the wine was racked to oak barrels, where malolactic fermentation took place naturally. The wine was aged for 17 months in French oak barrels (41% new). The wine was not filtered prior to bottling to conserve all of its concentration and character.
Tasting Notes: Deep, intense violet in color. The complex, fruity, and ripe nose expresses the characteristics of the year with aromas of black fruits, black pepper, and a bit of leather and blonde tobacco. Great structure and complexity on the palate with tannins that are both chalky (typical of the terroir at La Capilla) and silky and that lend way to a profoundly persistent finish.
2011- 90 Wine Enthusiast | 93 James Suckling
2012 – 90 James Suckling | 93 Tim Atkin
2013 – 91 James Suckling | 92 Descorchados
2015 – 93 Wine Advocate
2016 – 92 James Suckling
2017 – 91 James Suckling | 92 Wine Advocate
2019 – 91 Vinous | 93 James Suckling
After working as a wine merchant alongside his father and brother since the 1930’s, Miguel Viu Manent made the decision to branch out on his own in 1965, purchasing a historic vineyard and winery in Chile’s Colchagua Valley. The estate was and still is one of the most well-exposed sites in the region, and it included 150 hectares of pre-phylloxera massal selections from France.
This company provides us with wines we consider the best value wines in the country (see “Reserva line), forward/experimental options (see “Secreto” line), some of the most solid “under $20” varietal wines you’ll find anywhere in the world (see “Gran Reserva” line), site specific/terroir driven releases (see “Single Vineyard” wines), and most famously the iconic “Viu 1.” Malbec is clearly the house specialty here – Viu Manent was the first Chilean winery to bottle, label, and market Malbec, and they’ve for years been Chile’s Malbec leaders both in terms of accolades and quantity produced.
After nearly 100 years this firm is still family owned and operated (a rarity in Chile, especially for a winery of this size), all farming is certified sustainable, and two of Chile’s top names consult with the winery on a permanent basis – Roberto Pizarro (vineyard management) and Paul Hobbs (winemaking).