The grapes for our 2012 Max Reserva Carmenère come mainly from our Max V, VI and VII vineyards in the Aconcagua Valley. The region is known for its Mediterranean climate, with moderately warm summer days and fresh evening breezes, producing a daily temperature oscillation that is very beneficial for developing polyphenols in red wines. The vineyards are planted on soils of alluvial and colluvial origin, with a variable percentage of clay and stones, good drainage and depth for the roots to explore. Vines are trained to the vertical shoot position and are drip irrigated. Being Carmenère a late-ripening variety, canopy management is conducted so that the autumn light can penetrate the foliage. By reaching the fruit zone, it helps ripening the grapes and enhances the varietys characteristic aromas and flavours.
Harvest Date: Throughout April
Average Temperature (OctoberApril) : 18.9ºC
Daily Temp. Oscillation(OctoberApril) : 18.5ºC
Annual Precipitation : 250 mm
The 2011-2012 season was warm and dry, and showed moderate yields in our Max Vineyard. The warm condition of the year became clear only in February and March due to the increase of both the low and the high average temperatures, which reached a record average height of 30.8ºC (87.4ºF) in March. Average high temperatures were lower in April. The recorded total heat summation was of 1,621 degree days (DD), 128 DD more than in the previous season, and 200 DD higher than the average of the past three seasons.Total rainfall barely reached 2.4 mm, which, compared to the 20.2 mm of the 2010/2011 season, allowed us to produce grapes of excellent health but complicated hydric managements. The above-mentioned conditions of the season led us to make wines that show great colour, soft tannins, intense aromas and ripe fruit, with moderate acidities.
Grapes were hand picked and transported in small 14-kg boxes to the winery, where they were carefully inspected, crushed and deposited in stainless steel tanks of medium volume. Alcoholic fermentation took place at temperatures that varied between 24 and 28ºC, with three daily pumpovers, predominantly aerated, to achieve a complete extraction of anthocyanins, tannins and aromas from the skins, which added structure, support and complexity to the wine. Once fermentation was completed, the wine remained in touch with the skins. Depending on the individual development of each lot, and for an optimal extraction of tannins and colour, they completed a maceration of 7 to 33 days. The wine was then kept for 12 months in French oak barrels, 8% of them new. During this period, it reached its stability in a natural way.
Our 2012 Max Reserva Carmenère shows an intense ruby red colour with violet hues. A spicy character predominates on the nose, with aromas that remind of black pepper and paprika, all followed by notes of figs and plums, as well as subtle touches of black olives. The aging in barrel added harmonious notes of coffee and black chocolate to this blend of aromas. The wine feels velvety on the palate, with round and polished tannins that emphasize the flavours of black fruits and figs, as well as the varietys classic spicy character.
Valle de Aconcagua
The most northerly of Chile’s major wine regions is made up of several distinct zones. These range from Errazuriz in the hot interior and Panquehue in the gentle intermediate region, cooled by coastal breezes to the cooler and more recently established Casablanca region near Valparaiso on the coast itself. In the hotter, more northerly and interior regions, red wines dominate—predominantly cabernet sauvignon, but also merlot, syrah and more recently nebbiolo and sangiovese grapes. In the cooler Casablanca region, white wines dominate. Initially chardonnays were the grapes of choice, but more recently significant plantings of sauvignon blanc have occurred.