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Tabali, Pedregoso Carmenere Gran Reserva 2017
Deep dark red in colour with an elegant complex nose, plenty of spice, black fruit and violets... think black forest gateau! With smooth tannins on the palate there is perfect integration between oak and fruit, followed by a long and elegant finish.
The Vinas Viejas vineyard is situated in Cachapoal, one of the best areas in Chile for producing Carmenere. It was planted in 1950 and so now produces low yields, which are reflected in high-quality wines. The climate is Mediterranean and the vineyard faces north, so it receives more hours of sunshine, ensuring the optimum ripening of the fruit. This vineyard is planted on a slope of decomposed granite which allows the roots to penetrate deeply through the whole soil profile. The soil profile is a mix of gravels of different sizes, clay and sand, with high concentrations of active calcium carbonates (limestone) and different type of salts, due to the very little amount of rainfall per year (70 - 100 mm) in the area. Only 15% organic matter makes it ideal for the production of high quality red wines. The grapes were carefully hand-harvested into 20kg-bins so there is no breakage of the grapes. The picking started in the first week of June, at optimal phenolic maturity. The fermentation took place in small stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The maceration occurred following the alcoholic fermentation. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for ten months.
Established in 2002, Tabali is a pioneer and iconic winery situated in Limari, on the edge of the Atacama Desert in one of the northernmost vineyard regions of Chile. They were one of the first wineries to settle in Limari and their wines faithfully reflect their place of origin in which climate and soils play a fundamental role, and bring out the potential of each of their vineyards. After years of geological research, Tabali is the only winery that producers wines that cross Chile from east to west in the same valley (D.O.), from their incredibly high and remote site of Roca Madre (second highest vineyard in Chile) in the Andes Mountains' Rio Hurtado area down to their cool climate, 'Camanchaca' fog blanked vineyards by the Pacific Ocean. In their quest for the perfection, they now also have a site in the renowned Cabernet and Merlot region of Maipo Valley. The result is a range of truly distinctive wines with elegance, restraint and minerality which the dynamic team of Felipe Muller (winemaker) and Hector Rojas (viticulturalist) have attributed to their cabinet full of the wine world's most prestigious trophies. In 2014, Felipe Muller was name 'Chilean Young Winemaker of the Year' and acclaimed for his ability to understand Tabali's distinctive terroir and use it to create remarkable wines, unique to Chile. Tabali also has the honour of stewardship of the Limari Valley's most significant archaeological sites, the mystical Valle del Encanto (Enchanted Valley) which borders their vineyards. A sacred site of the ancient Molle and Diaguita culture, the many rock drawings and carved Tacita stones depict an ancient way of life. The Tabali mask logo has been taken from one of these rock carvings, which can only be seen at certain times of day when the sun's alignment makes them magically appear.
James Suckling 89pts (2015) - Some serious dry tannins and a dusty character make this rich red a wine you'll either love or find slightly too extreme. With a longer finish this would rate higher.