Merlot Reserve 'Conquistador', Central Valley, Chile
Toasty, spicy flavour
Darwin Vineyards, an extended family affair of grandparents, children, uncles and nephews with the brother supplying an established winery next door in which to make the wines. The vineyards are across the Central Valley, about 80km from the Pacific and 60km from the Andes. The Conquistador 'Reserve' range are made from hand-harvested grapes from 20 year old vines on deep, rocky soils. The Merlot grapes are macerated for 2 weeks to get a deep, intense colour and after fermentation the wines are stored in French oak barrels to give a toasty, spicy flavour. The Spanish Conquistadors conquered the Americas, greatly aided by the use of horses, an animal previously unknown to the native population. Large herds of horses are kept in the valley to this day and their presence and history are celebrated on the label.