Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue links below).
William Fevre La Mision Reserva Especial Carmenere 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review
Decanter review - individual reviewer comment
William Fèvre Chile modestly term this as being from their mid-level La Mision range and their entry-level Carmenère, but this is to seriously understate its quality.
William Fèvre Chile (WFC) is a venture that resulted from an investigation by the eponymous Monsieur Fèvre into vine-growing land in Chile, that became a collaboration with one Victor Pino Torche, a vineyard owner high in Chile's Maipo Valley, above Santiago, at San Juan de Pirque. From there, sumptuous Chardonnays began to emerge, with New World, high-altitude flavours, but made in a Burgundian fashion, involving, in particular, meticulous and subtle use of oak in both fermentation and ageing.
From there, WFC have gone on to collaborate in and/or own further vineyards in the many Chilean winegrowing valleys, including in some of the heartlands of the Carmenère grape, Chile's Merlot-like speciality grape: here (again) at Pirque in the Maipo Valley. The Burgundian approach to winemaking remains prevalent in all of WFC's wines, including this Carmenère.
For this, the Reserva Especial, specific plots of prime vines were harvested, the grapes from which underwent exacting scrutiny before inclusion for fermentation. The Reserve Especial comprises 92% Carmenère and 8% Cabernet Franc, the latter lending the wine a bright fruitiness and acidity. After main and malolactic fermentations, 80% of the resulting wine was aged in pre-used French oak barrels/barriques for eight months (these being on their second or their third use). This encourages a healthy - but not over-powerful - complement of oak structure whilst heavily preserving "heaps of honest fruit" (Fèvre's own term!), both in the lightly-oaked portion and (especially) in the 20% portion aged in stainless steel. The wine was then aged in the bottle for at least another six months before release.
Behind its deep cherry color, the Carmenère La Misión Reserva Especial 2015 reveals intense aromas of black pepper and red pepper, with notes of smoke and toffee. It is juicy and fresh in the mouth, with firm but silky tannins. It has the great spiciness of Carmenère but also surprising softness and length for a Carmenère at both this price-point and stage in its age development.
For more information and details of the Reserva Especial's twin, also available, click here.
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