03/12/2009

Castel Pujol Bodegas Carrau

1001 Wines you must taste before you die - Neil Beckett

In comparison with the Carrau family's traditionally designed Las Violetas winery at the southern end of Uruguay, Cerro Chapeu - established in 1976 in the hills of the same name (otherwise known as "bowler hat peak") on Uruguay's verdant northeastern border with Brazil - is positively space age.
The grapes come from a 4-acre (1.6 ha) plot planted in 1976 and arrive, hand-picked at groud level, dropping into a circular set of small stainless-stell tanks, which allow gentle hand-punching of the skins down to extact color and flavor without the excess tannin that mechanical pumping would risk. The wine is then run by gravity into new barrels of French and American oak for around twenty months before being bottled, unfiltered.
Amat is a notably rich, heady version of Uruguay's flagship red grape, the Tannat, with tannins tenderized by being grown on sandy soils in a consistently warm climate. The grapes' inherently smooth tannins are aided by sensitive winemaking and a refusal to blast the wine with oak, allowing an appealingly wide range of dark fruit flavors to the fore in a medium- to full-bodied wine. MW
Drink: to 2012