100% Carmenere, 60% with "Appassimento" grapes
A portion of the grapes are picked late, after 2 more months on the vines, in order to yield a more complex and concentrated fruit. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with pistons for breaking the cap, to have better extraction of soft tannins, color and aromas from overripe grapes. Aging 60% in Premium American oak for 8 months.
Founded in 1998, Viña Falernia has built a reputation as a high quality winery. Owner Aldo Olivier Gramola created Viña Falernia with his cousin Giorgio Flessati, a seasoned winemaker from the Trentino region in Northern Italy. Located in the Elqui Valley, Falernia remains one of Chile’s northernmost wine estates at 530 km North of Santiago. The Elqui Valley provides natural advantages to the growing process including dramatic contrasts between night/day temperatures and high quality of light. Viña Falernia spans over 320 hectares of vineyards, with the territories being divided into 4 distinct vineyards. First, the Titon vineyard lies at an altitude of 350 meters above sea level, 18 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean. The second and third sites, Puclaro and Pedregal respectively, move further into the valley and reach up to 560 meters above sea level. Finally, the fourth vineyard nestled in the Andes Mountains, Huanta, continues as one of the highest in the world at 2070 meters above sea level.
Pairs well with grilled meat, pork loin, pastas with meatbased sauce and spicy food.
In the press
This looks much less blue than I would have expected for such a young wine. Quite mature! Very different from the other Carmenères in this range - much sweeter and more evolved. The back label reveals that the grapes from this single vineyard, at 550m, were partially dried on the vine and the wine aged in American oak. All is explained. It works! A very attractive, non-heavy whole, grown on limestone. Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com
Chilean Carmenère works best, for me at least, when growers allow it to express some of its natural herbal character without letting it take over. Just a seasoning of green, rather than a humid greenhouse-full of tomato plant, adds a certain freshness which reminds me of the light red wines made from cabernet franc in France’s Loire Valley. More serious examples can take on flavours of dark chocolate and soy sauce, as well as the classic super-ripe Chilean blackcurrant. But one of my favourite carmenères, from Viña Falernia in northern Chile’s Elqui Valley, takes its cue from northeastern Italy, using a portion of dried grapes in the manner of Amarone della Valpolicella to make a deep, rich, sensuous red full of chocolate, sweet spice and dried and fresh black fruit. David Williams, The Observer (2012 vintage)