CARMENÈRE AL MUNDO 2018: MORE THAN A DECADE ELEVATING THE NAME OF CHILEAN WINE
It has been 12 years since Chilean winemakers decided to celebrate Chilean wine through the Carmenère variety. This event began in 2006, when a group of directors of the Chilean Association of Enologist Agricultural Engineers (ANIAE) came up with the idea of organizing the first wine competition held by wine and grape professionals, following the most stringent international standards.
They were looking for ways to shine a spotlight on the great diversity and versatility of Chilean wine, using the Carmenère variety as an excuse to show the world the very high technical level of the Chilean wine industry. This is why the competition has traveled through different valleys: its first version, in 2006, was held in the Colchagua Valley; then Maule (2008), Maipo (2011), Cachapoal (2014), and Curicó (2016). In 2018 the competition returned to the place where it was born, Colchagua, as a way of highlighting this central valley’s evolution along with the evolution of this grape variety over the last two decades.
A COMPETITION BUILT FROM THE GROUND UP AND HARD WORK
A competition, however, is not just about wine tastings, wines, and juries. For Eugenio Lira, president of ANIAE, it also “goes hand in hand with a group of people who believe in the project and seek to materialize an illusion into an event that exalts wine. It is a competition built from the ground up, where no detail is left to chance, one that generates a fraternal atmosphere among jurors and where each wine is unique and requires being evaluated with the utmost respect, care, and professionalism.”
The story of Jean Michel Boursiquot’s rediscovery of this variety in this corner of the world was already well known when winemakers Eduardo Alemparte, Hernán Amenábar, Carolina Arnello, and Klaus Schröder thought of a single varietal competition that would showcase the full potential of Carmenère.
They were joined by the association’s successive boards to continue the arduous task of organizing an event of such a magnitude: four days of tasting sessions and parallel activities, more than 30 national and international jurors, and multiple trips to the very valleys where the Carmenère grape variety is grown.
With all these challenges, Carmenère al Mundo has achieved six successful versions, with a very high participation of wineries from all over the country. Not only that, it also became the first Chilean competition to achieve the double endorsement of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) and the International Union of Enologists (UIOE), the highest technical and professional bodies in the international wine industry.
Eugenio Lira remarks that this is a distinctive feature of the competition. “It meant that technical quality was not only a requirement, but a goal and a hallmark of this event. It also became a guarantee for all participating vineyards and wineries that their samples would be evaluated with the utmost rigor and in the best conditions that each wine deserves.”
Carmenère al Mundo 2.0
The competition renewed its image in 2018. It changed its characteristic logo of a copihue for the leaf of the Carmenère vine, and its burgundy colors for the carmine of this grape variety. It kept the technical and professional level that characterizes it, but in keeping with the times. The chair of that version was the prominent winemaker and CEO of Aquitania vineyards, Felipe de Solminihac, who led the group of people who sought to “innovate within tradition.”
Three prominent Chilean winemakers headed the judging committees: Eugenia Díaz, Carolina Arnello, and Vesna Rojic. These women have vast experience in wineries, domestic and international grape harvests, and research.
The 2018 jury was very diverse, ranging from high international wine authorities, such as Regina Venderlinde, then-president of the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine), to winemakers from different wineries in the country, to specialized journalists and renowned sommeliers, both from Chile and abroad.
And it was within this evolution that the 2018 version of the CAM introduced a new twist: the Grand Gold medal. This award sought to honor that group of great wines that year after year ranked high in the competition’s ranking, but were left without the recognition they so deserved.
The president of the trade association in 2018, Eugenio Lira, winemaker of a renowned winery in the Sixth Region, together with other professionals of his generation, took on the challenge as his own, believing in a project without any financial compensation but with professional and personal rewards.
“The Chilean Association of Enologist Agricultural Engineers holds this competition on its own through its hard work, with no commercial objective, but rather with the mission of creating a space for the pride we feel in making wine in our country. The association’s board understands that Chile is more than just the Carmenère variety, but has decided to use this grape variety as a flagship to bring Chilean wine to the world and, through it, draw people’s eyes towards our rich and extensive viticulture. It’s not for nothing that the latest editions have included wines from Elqui to Maule, representing the great majority of wine valleys and areas of our country. We hope to continue to grow in representing even more of Chile’s vineyards and producers, and thus continue to talk about wine in a positive way,” said Lira at the time.
CAM 2018 was held between October 16th and 19th in the Colchagua Valley. The two days of tasting, on the 17th and 18th, were held in Santa Cruz, ending with an awards ceremony in another iconic place in this valley, where the best Carmenère of Chile were announced.
PREVIOUS CONTEST WINNERS
El premio de Mejor Carmenère del certamen fue otorgado al vino Microterroir de Los Lingues 2011 de Viña Casa Silva.
MEDALLAS GRAN ORO:
- Microterroir de los Lingues 2011, Viña Casa Silva
- Gran Reserva Origen 2017, Viña Chocalán
- 7 colores Limited Edition 2015, Empresas Lourdes
- La Rosa 2014, Viña La Rosa
- Cordillera de los Andes Reserva Especial 2014, Viña Miguel Torres
- Limited Edition 2017, Viña Pérez Cruz
- Pehuén 2013, Viña Santa Rita
- Unique Selection 2015, Viña Siegel
- Andes CA1 2015, Viña Terranoble
- Founders Collection 2015, Viña Undurraga
- Espino 2017, Viña William Fevre
- Vértice 2015, Viña Ventisquero
MEDALLAS DE ORO:
- Apaltagua Grial 2015, Viña Apaltagua
- Gran Reserva Envero 2017, Viña Apaltagua
- Gran Terroir de los Andes 2017, Viña Casa Silva
- Quinta Generación Red Blend 2015, Viña Casa Silva
- Single Vineyard block N°28 La Rinconada 2017, Viña Cono Sur
- Venere 2014, Viña Cremaschi Furlotti
- El Sueño Gran Reserva 2012, Geisse
- Marqués del Nevado Gran Reserva 2016, Viña Korta
- Cerro Basalto 2016, Viña Koyle
- Grand Selection 2015, Viña Lapostolle
- Grande Reserve 2017 Los Vascos
- Limited Selection 2017, Viña Montes
- Limited Selection 2017, Viña Ravanal
- Amplus One 2017 Santa Ema
- Floresta 2017, Viña Santa Rita
- Gran Reserva Frida Kahlo Edición Limitada 2016, Viña Santa Rita
- Costa CA2 2015, Viña Terranoble
- Gran Reserva 2016, Viña Terranoble
- Single Vineyard 2013, Viña Valdivieso
- Primus 2017, Viña Veramonte
- El Milagro Reserva 2015, Viña Viñedos Puertas
MEDALLAS DE ORO:
- Alchemysta Alchemy Carmenère 2015
- Apaltagua Envero Gran Reserva 2014
- Apaltagua Grial 2012
- Arboleda Arboleda Carmenère 2014
- Canepa Finisimo Gran Reserva Carmenère 2015
- Carmen Carmen Gran Reserva Grande Vidure 2014
- Casa Bauza Ensamblaje 2014
- Casa Bauzá Presumido 2014
- Casa Silva Altura 2009
- Casa Silva Carmenere Reserva Cuvée 2015
- Casa Silva Carmenère Malbec Reserva Cuvée 2015
- Casa Silva Carmenère Syrah Reserva Cuvée 2015
- Concha y Toro Casillero del diablo Reserva Privada Carmenère 2014
- Cremaschi Furlotti Vénere 2013
- Chocalán Carmenere reserva 2014
- De Martino Armida 2009
- Dely Verdugo Jara Dely 2016
- Errazuriz Kai 2013
- Estampa La Cruz 2012
- Koyle Gran Reserva Carmenère 2013
- La Rosa Cornellana Gran Reserva 2014
- La Rosa La Capitana Barrel Reserve 2014
- Maipo Gran Devoción
- Maipo Vitral Carmenère 2015
- Morandé Morandé Gran Reserva Carmenère 2012
- Ravanal Ravanal MR 2014
- Requingua Toro de Piedra Carmenère Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
- San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Carmenère 2015
- Siegel Wines Crucero Colection Carmenère 2015
- Siegel Wines Unique Selection 2013
- Terranoble Lahuen 2013
- Undurraga Founders Collection Carmenère 2013
- Ventisquero Vertice Carmenère Syrah 2012
MEDALLAS DE PLATA:
- Baron Philippe De Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenère 2015
- Dalbosco Reserva Carmenère 2015
- Casas del Toqui Carmeneèe Gran Reserva Terroir Selection
- Folatre Clos Andino Gran Reserva 2014
- Folatre Pichaman 2013
- Miguel Torres Cordillera Carmenère 2012 reserva especial
- Misiones de Rengo Misiones de Rengo reserva Carmenère 2015
- Montes Montes Alpha Carmenère 2014
- Siegel Wines Single Vineyard Carmenère 2014
- Terrapura Terrapura Single Vineyard Carmenère 2015
- Tarapacá Tarapacá Gran Reserva Carmenère 2015
- Undurraga TH Carmenère 2014
- Undurraga Sibaris Carmenère 2014
- Valle Frio Jardín Privado Reserva 2014
The 4th Edition of Carmenère al Mundo, organized by the Chilean Association of Enologist Agricultural Engineers, ended with more than 600 samples entered and great success. Attended by distinguished national and international jurors from key markets for the Chilean Carmenère, the award winners in the competition’s fourth version were:
Best Pure Carmenère Trophy: Casa Silva Microterroir Carmenère 2008
Best Carmenère Blend: Ventisquero, Vértice Carmenère Syrah 2011
- ALWA Limited Edition Carmenère 2010, Anakena
- 1865 Carmenère 2012, San Pedro
- La Cruz 2010, Estampa
- Carmenère 2012, Arboleda
- Limited Release Carmenère 2011, Tamaya
- Founders Collection Carmenère 2012, Undurraga
- Edición Limitada A 2012, Caliterra
- Max Reserva Carmenère 2012, Errázuriz
- Single Vineyard Carmenère 2012, Siegel
Moreover, to position the finest exemplars of this grape variety in Asia—one of the key markets for Chilean wine—PROCHILE held an important event in Osaka, Japan for importers that highlighted this grape variety, and a Tasting of the New Selection of Chilean Carmenère wines led by Julio Alonso, Wines of Chile’s representative in Asia, and Kunio Bansho, Director of the specialized wine and spirits magazine “WANDS”, who presented the 5 wines with the highest scores in the 4th edition of the International Carmenère al Mundo Competition.
Best Pure Carmenère: Caliterra Tributo Carmenere Single Vineyard 2008, Valle de Colchagua
Best Carmenère Blend: Viña Siegel, Gran Crucero Limited Edition 2007, Valle de Colchagua
Best Experimental Carmenère: Viña Pirazzoli, Pirazzoli 2011, Sagrada Familia.
- Caliterra Tributo Carmenere Single Vineyard 2008 Colchagua
- Casa Silva Doña Dominga Carmenere 2011 Colchagua
- Viña Pirazzoli Viña Pirazzoli 2011 Sagrada F
- Errazuriz Kai 2008 Aconcagua
- Casa Silva Casa Silva Colección Carmenere 2011 Colchagua
- Siegel Gran Crucero Limited Edition 2007 Colchagua
Best Pure Carmenère: Viña Concha y Toro, Winemaker’s Lot Carménère Nº 148, 2007.
Best Carmenère Blend: Viña Caliterra, Caliterra Reserva, 2007.
Best Experimental Carmenère: Viña Tinajas del Maule, Carménère Experimental, 2008.
Viña Ventisquero, Grey Carménère 2006.
Viña Portal del Alto, Alcar de Terravid, 2003.
Viña Errázuriz, Errázuriz Estate Carménère 2007.
Viña Errázuriz, Arboleda Carménère 2006
Viña Haras de Pirque, Equus Carménère 2007
Viña William Fevre, Grand Cuvee Carménère, 2006.
Viña Errázuriz, Kai Carménère, 2005.
Viña Casa Silva, Doña Dominga Reserva Carménère, 2006.
Viña Casas Patronales, Carménère 2007
Viña Casa Silva, Altura, 2003.
Best of the Best: Casa Silva Carménère Reserva 2005 (Valle de Colchagua)
Best Pure Carmenère: Pérez Cruz Carménère Limited Edition 2005 (Valle del Maipo)
Best Carmenère Blend: Ravanal Limited Edition 2005 (Valle de Colchagua)
Best Experimental Carmenère: Pirazzoli Carménère 2006 (Valle de Curicó)
Tres Palacios Carmenère Reserva 2005 (Valle del Maipo)
Calina Reserva Carmenère 2005 (Valle del Maule)
Calina Alcance Carmenère 2005 (Valle del Maule)
Tamaya Carmenère Reserva 2005 (Valle del Limarí)
Casablanca El Bosque Carmenère 2005 (Valle del Limarí)
Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenère 2005 (Valle Central)
Concha y Toro Sunrise Carmenère 2006 (Valle del Maule)
Falernia Carmenère Reserva 2005 (Valle del Elqui)
Haras de Pirque Equus Carmenère 2005 (Valle del Maipo)