Pehuén

Carménère

Pehuén is our icon Carménère and is, without a doubt, a leader of its kind in Chile. Hailing from the small terroir of Apalta, birthplace to some of the country’s best Carménère wines, and a small plot of grapevines dating back to 1938, this wine is the reflection of the grape’s potential; a mature and elegant wine that helps position Carménère among the top varietals in the world.

Harvest

2017
2013
2011
2009
2008
2007

Technical details

Varieties 92% Carménère and 8% Syrah
pH: 3,62
Total Acidity: 5,42 g/l
Alcohol Content: 14,0
Residual Sugar: 2,00 g/l

Winemaker's comment

This superb wine is intense and deep carmine red color. Its complex bouquet that elegantly combines the fresh black fruit and the spice notes typical of the variety with the character given by the oak. Concentrated on the palate with a freshness developed from the acidity and the character of the variety. Good structure and depth, this is a flavorful and persistent wine with good aging potential.

Viticulture

Carmenere: The vineyard was planted in 1938 on a south-facing slope in the mid-section of the Apalta Valley hills, 5,500 plants per hectare. The vineyard is dry farmed (un irrigated) and only receives water through winter rainfall, which averages 700 mm (27.5 in) per year, and contributions from the basin. The contributions of the basins during the spring allow the canopy to develop appropriately and quickly enter into a situation that is restrictive but sufficient for proper maturation. Poor granitic soils provide good drainage, which in turn controls plant vigor and ensures proper fruit production. Given its position on the slopes, it has very good solar exposure and no clusters damage due to sun overexposure. Despite the naturally low yield, poorly positioned bunches and weak shoots are eliminated early in the season. Prior to harvest, defective bunches are eliminated to ensure that only the best are vinified.

Vinification

Harvested in the first week of April, the grapes are destemmed, partially crushed, and underwent a 5-day cold soak prior to fermentation. Ten percent of the harvest was whole cluster fermented. The must was then inoculated with selected yeasts and fermented at 28-30ºC (82ºF). Frequent pumpovers during two-thirds of the fermentation process are then reduced to half in order to extract all of the potential from the skins without adding aggressive notes to the final wine. A 25-day post-fermentation maceration lends the sweetness and roundness that characterize the wine.

Aging

Malolactic fermentation took place in French oak barrels – 40% new and 60% one year- to ensure complete structure and color set. The wine remained in the barrels for 18 months.

Technical details

Varieties 92% Carménère and 8% Syrah
pH: 3.36
Total Acidity: 5.93 g/l
Alcohol Content: 14.5
Residual Sugar: 3.07 g/l

Expert opinion

"If you like your Carmenère to have ageing potential, this is the wine for you. Sourced from dry-farmed, 80-year-old vines, it’s a dense, plush, textured number with masses of toasty oak framing rich, chocolatey, green pepper and blackberry flavours. 2018-25"

92 points

(March 2017; Tim Atkin, UK)

Acknowledgments

Wine Enthusiast

2017

91 points

Tim Atkin

2017

92 points

Descorchados

2017

94 points

Awoca

2017

Bronze Medal

James Suckling

2017

91 points

Robert Parker (Luis Gutierrez)

2017

90 points

Descorchados 2017

2016

94 points

Winemaker's comment

This superb wine is intense and deep carmine red color. Its complex bouquet that elegantly combines the fresh black fruit and the spice notes typical of the variety with the character given by the oak. Concentrated on the palate with a freshness developed from the acidity and the character of the variety. Good structure and depth, this is a flavorful and persistent wine with good aging potential.

Viticulture

Carménère: The vineyard was planted in 1938 on a south-facing slope in the mid-section of the Apalta Valley hills, 5,500 plants per hectare. The vineyard is dry farmed (un irrigated) and only receives water through winter rainfall, which averages 700 mm (27.5 in) per year, and contributions from the basin. The contributions of the basins during the spring allow the canopy to develop appropriately and quickly enter into a situation that is restrictive but sufficient for proper maturation. Poor granitic soils provide good drainage, which in turn controls plant vigor and ensures proper fruit production. Given its position on the slopes, it has very good solar exposure and no clusters damage due to sun overexposure. Despite the naturally low yield, poorly positioned bunches and weak shoots are eliminated early in the season. Prior to harvest, defective bunches are eliminated to ensure that only the best are vinified.

Vinification

Harvested by the end of March and beginning of April, the grapes are destemmed, partially crushed, and underwent a 5-day cold soak prior to fermentation. Ten percent of the harvest was whole cluster fermented. The must was then inoculated with selected yeasts and fermented at 28-30oC (82oF). Frequent pumpovers during two-thirds of the fermentation process are then reduced to half in order to extract all of the potential from the skins without adding aggressive notes to the final wine. A 25-day post-fermentation maceration lends the sweetness and roundness that characterize the wine.

Aging

Malolactic fermentation took place in French oak barrels – 60% new and 40% one year- to ensure complete structure and color set. The wine remained in the barrels for 18 months.

Technical details

Varieties 90% Carménère and 10% Syrah
pH: 3.36
Total Acidity: 6.18 g/l
Alcohol Content: 15.0
Residual Sugar: 2.34 g/l

Expert opinion

"This is a heavily oaked Carmenere, so aromas of caramel, vanilla and licorice share space on the bouquet with stewed, foresty notes. Plump and saturated in feel, this is more mellow and soft than tough or tannic. Roasted blackberry, toast and spicy oak flavors end big and heavily, with leftover oak and herbal notes. Drink through 2018. -MS"

90 points

(March 2016, Wine Enthusiast USA)

Acknowledgments

Wine Spectator

2016

90 points

James Suckling

2016

91 points

Wine Enthusiast

2016

90 points

Winemaker's comment

This superb wine is intense and deep carmine red color. Its complex bouquet that elegantly combines the fresh black fruit and the spice notes typical of the variety with the character given by the oak. Concentrated on the palate with a freshness developed from the acidity and the character of the variety. Good structure and depth, this is a flavorful and persistent wine with good aging potential.

Viticulture

Carmenere: The vineyard was planted in 1938 on a south-facing slope in the mid-section of the Apalta Valley hills, 5,500 plants per hectare. The vineyard is dry farmed (un irrigated) and only receives water through winter rainfall, which averages 700 mm (27.5 in) per year, and contributions from the basin. The contributions of the basins during the spring allow the canopy to develop appropriately and quickly enter into a situation that is restrictive but sufficient for proper maturation. Poor granitic soils provide good drainage, which in turn controls plant vigor and ensures proper fruit production. Given its position on the slopes, it has very good solar exposure and no clusters damage due to sun overexposure. Despite the naturally low yield, poorly positioned bunches and weak shoots are eliminated early in the season. Prior to harvest, defective bunches are eliminated to ensure that only the best are vinified.

Vinification

Harvested in the second half of April, the grapes are destemmed, partially crushed, and underwent a 5-day cold soak prior to fermentation. The must was then inoculated with selected yeasts and fermented at 28oC (82oF). Frequent pumpovers during two-thirds of the fermentation process are then reduced to half in order to extract all of the potential from the skins without adding aggressive notes to the final wine. A 20-day post-fermentation maceration lends the sweetness and roundness that characterize the wine.

Aging

Malolactic fermentation took place in 100% French oak barrels to ensure complete structure and color set. The wine remained in the barrels for 18 months.

Technical details

Varieties 95% Carménère and 5% Syrah
pH: 3.43
Total Acidity: 5.27 g/l
Alcohol Content: 15.0
Residual Sugar: 2.84 g/l

Expert opinion

"The 2009 Pehuen has a strong licorice bouquet with a touch of toffee and marzipan infusing the black, toasty fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine supple tannins and good weight. The oak is deftly integrated and it offers a lovely earthy finish that is precise and refined. Drink now-2016."

90 points

(December 2012, e-RobertParker.com USA)

Winemaker's comment

This superb wine is intense and deep with a rich carmine red color. Its complex bouquet that elegantly combines the fresh black fruit and the spice notes typical of the variety with the character given by the oak. It is powerful and concentrated without losing elegance or depth, resulting in a flavorful, persistent wine with great aging potential.

Viticulture

Carménère: The vineyard was planted in 1938 on a south-facing slope in the mid-section of the Apalta Valley hills, 5,500 plants per hectare. The vineyard is dry farmed (un irrigated) and only receives water through winter rainfall, which averages 700 mm (27.5 in) per year, and contributions from the basin. The contributions of the basins during the spring allow the canopy to develop appropriately and quickly enter into a situation that is restrictive but sufficient for proper maturation. Poor granitic soils provide good drainage, which in turn controls plant vigor and ensures proper fruit production. Given its position on the slopes, it has very good solar exposure and no clusters damage due to sun overexposure. Despite the naturally low yield, poorly positioned bunches and weak shoots are eliminated early in the season. Prior to harvest, defective bunches are eliminated to ensure that only the best are vinified.

Syrah: The vineyards were low density planted (1,785 plants/ha) in 1997 and now yield 3,500 kg/ha (1.8 kg/plant). The soils are typical of the second Limarí Valley terrace and consist of alluvial depositions with a first stratum of clay texture and a second of clay-loam with stones. Calcium carbonate deposits between the strata are responsible for the high pH in the soil and limit the effective depth, which can vary from 20 to 50 cm (8–20in), and reduce water permeability in the soils. The management strategy aims to always maintain good light within the canopy, at both the bunch level and in the interior and also to stop growth prior to the onset of veraison to ensure good concentration and ripening of the bunches.

Vinification

Harvested in the second half of April, the grapes are destemmed, partially crushed, and underwent a 5-day cold soak prior to fermentation. The must was then inoculated with selected yeasts and fermented at 28ºC (82ºF). All of the potential of the skins was extracted through frequent pumpovers during the first two-thirds of the process and then reduced by half. A 20-day post-fermentation maceration lent sweetness and a well-rounded character to the wine. Frequent pumpovers during two-thirds of the fermentation process are then reduced to half in order to extract all of the potential from the skins without adding aggressive notes to the final wine. A 20-day post-fermentation maceration lends the sweetness and roundness that characterize the wine.

Aging

Malolactic fermentation took place in 100% French oak barrels to ensure complete structure and color set. The wine remained in the barrels for 18 months.

Technical details

Varieties 90% Carménère and 10% Syrah
pH: 3.35
Total Acidity: 3.94 g/l
Alcohol Content: 14.6
Residual Sugar: 2.5 g/l

Expert opinion

"Since 2004, Santa Rita has been producing this Pehuén every year. From 2007 harvest, however, it is one hundred percent Carmenère. Before it had a variable percentage of CS (it was always around 15%). It is a very old vineyard of Carmenère in Apalta, which gives depth, this "long" of flavors that is submerged in very light notes of barrels, but mainly of sweet spices, of acidity. The best version of Pehuén until now."

94 points

(December 2012, Descorchados Chile)

Winemaker's comment

This superb wine is intense and deep with a rich carmine red color. Its complex bouquet that elegantly combines the fresh black fruit and the spice notes typical of the variety with the character given by the oak. It is powerful and concentrated without losing elegance or depth, resulting in a flavorful, persistent wine with great aging potential.

Viticulture

Carménère: The vineyard was planted in 1938 on a south-facing slope in the mid-section of the Apalta Valley hills, 5,500 plants per hectare. The vineyard is dry farmed (un irrigated) and only receives water through winter rainfall, which averages 700 mm (27.5 in) per year, and contributions from the basin. The contributions of the basins during the spring allow the canopy to develop appropriately and quickly enter into a situation that is restrictive but sufficient for proper maturation. Poor granitic soils provide good drainage, which in turn controls plant vigor and ensures proper fruit production. Given its position on the slopes, it has very good solar exposure and no clusters damage due to sun overexposure. Despite the naturally low yield, poorly positioned bunches and weak shoots are eliminated early in the season. Prior to harvest, defective bunches are eliminated to ensure that only the best are vinified.

Syrah: The vineyards were low density planted (1,785 plants/ha) in 1997 and now yield 3,500 kg/ha (1.8 kg/plant). The soils are typical of the second Limarí Valley terrace and consist of alluvial depositions with a first stratum of clay texture and a second of clay-loam with stones. Calcium carbonate deposits between the strata are responsible for the high pH in the soil and limit the effective depth, which can vary from 20 to 50 cm (8–20in), and reduce water permeability in the soils. The management strategy aims to always maintain good light within the canopy, at both the bunch level and in the interior and also to stop growth prior to the onset of veraison to ensure good concentration and ripening of the bunches.

Vinification

Harvested in the second half of April, the grapes are destemmed, partially crushed, and underwent a 5-day cold soak prior to fermentation. The must was then inoculated with selected yeasts and fermented at 28ºC (82ºF). All of the potential of the skins was extracted through frequent pumpovers during the first two-thirds of the process and then reduced by half. A 20-day post-fermentation maceration lent sweetness and a well-rounded character to the wine. Frequent pumpovers during two-thirds of the fermentation process are then reduced to half in order to extract all of the potential from the skins without adding aggressive notes to the final wine. A 20-day post-fermentation maceration lends the sweetness and roundness that characterize the wine.

Aging

Malolactic fermentation took place in 100% French oak barrels to ensure complete structure and color set. The wine remained in the barrels for 18 months.

Technical details

Varieties 100% Carménère
pH: 3.6
Total Acidity: 6.08 g/l
Alcohol Content: 14
Residual Sugar: 3.15 g/l

Expert opinion

"A carmenere with lots of mineral and mint aromas plus hints of dark fruit such as blackberries. Full body, firm tannins and an elegantly austere finish. Very fine. Made from 70 year old vines. Drink now or hold."

94 points

(August 2014, James Suckling USA)

Winemaker's comment

This superb wine is intense and deep with a rich carmine red color. Its complex bouquet that elegantly combines the fresh black fruit and the spice notes typical of the variety with the character given by the oak. It is powerful and concentrated without losing elegance or depth, resulting in a flavorful, persistent wine with great aging potential.

Viticulture

The vineyard was planted in 1938 on a south-facing slope in the mid-section of the Apalta Valley hills, 5,500 plants per hectare. The vineyard is dry farmed (un irrigated) and only receives water through winter rainfall, which averages 700 mm (27.5 in) per year, and contributions from the basin. The contributions of the basins during the spring allow the canopy to develop appropriately and quickly enter into a situation that is restrictive but sufficient for proper maturation. Poor granitic soils provide good drainage, which in turn controls plant vigor and ensures proper fruit production. Given its position on the slopes, it has very good solar exposure. Despite the naturally low yield, poorly positioned bunches and weak shoots are eliminated early in the season. Prior to harvest, defective bunches are eliminated to ensure that only the best are vinified

Vinification

Harvested in the second half of April, the grapes are destemmed, partially crushed, and underwent a 5-day cold soak prior to fermentation. The must was then inoculated with selected yeasts and fermented at 28ºC (82ºF). All of the potential of the skins was extracted through frequent pumpovers during the first two-thirds of the process and then reduced by half. A 20-day post-fermentation maceration lent sweetness and a well-rounded character to the wine.

Aging

Malolactic fermentation took place in 100% French oak barrels to ensure complete structure and color set. The wine remained in the barrels for 18 months.

Terroir
Valley

Apalta

Weather

Here, the thermal condition is sub-humid, with an average annual temperatures of 14.7ºC (58ºF) and average precipitation of 684 mm. The most important climate factor in Apalta is the thermal oscillation that can exceed 20ºC. There are almost no frost. the high thermal oscillation and cold breeze oming from the coast along the Tinguiririca river stand out. Hills facing south, less exposure and denser vegetation.

Soil and surface

There soil in Apalta are cataloged in three: high, medium and low zones. The upper and middle zone contains granitic sediment deposited at the base of hillsides with frank - sandy texture - argillaceous in the high and free zone, and sandy in the middle zone. The low zone is characterized by alluvial deposits of open texture - argillaceous and clayey.

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