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In 1975, Quico Carrau Pujol, in collaboration with the University of California Davis, began the search for a terroir to plant the first virus-free vines. This place had to have qualities that would adapt to the climate of Uruguay, sandy soils and slopes that would allow good drainage to avoid excess water in the vine. After going through and analysing different soils in the South of Brazil and North of Uruguay, they found this property in Rivera, Cerro Chapeu, in Cuchilla de Santana, with sandy, reddish and deep soils, with low fertility and very good drainage. It is here where the project of selecting vineyards that would adapt to this place began.
In 1997 Francisco Carrau, ninth generation and youngest son of Quico, after touring wineries in different parts of the world, designed the winery, deciding to build it inside a hill to take advantage of gravity and thus achieve vinification with minimal manipulation of the musts.
Currently, Bodegas Carrau is a family business, where five brothers pay tribute to over 260 years of wisdom generated by their ancestors.
Francisco Carrau – Winemaking Legend, Tim Atkin MW Uruguay Report 2021
Vinified with very mature fruit that results in soft and elegant tannins for a full body wine. During the last 40 years, the best grape varieties were developed in our own vineyards of Cerro Chapeu region. Tannat is one of the best adapt red varieties to the sandy red soil and continental conditions of Cerro Chapeu, resulting in mature tannins with less final alcohol. A temperate and continental climate and planted at more than 1000 feet above sea level in sandy deep red soils. Made with fruit sourced from a Single Vineyard – T1 Block on the family estate, which an average age of 40 years.
Hand-picked and transported in small cases of 15 Kg. Crushed over the tanks, 50% of the crush is whole berries. Vinified using gravity, grapes are crushed over open tanks without pumping and maceration is done by punching down the marc, fermentation is completed in barrels, 50% new and 50% second wine of French oak, and it was aged “sur lie” for 18 months without any raking.
Deep intense red colour. Long legs on the side of the glass show dense body. Aromas of ripe red fruits, dry plums and orange dry peels. A subtle oak gives complex flavours, and some notes of fresh tobacco and black pepper are evident on the palate. It has firm structure, with still lively acidity, giving it elegance and length on the palate. It has chewy body and a dry finish that will develop well with time to a softer style.
Ideal with any kind of grilled meat, charcuterie and strong cheeses, casseroles and spicy dishes
Will improve with carefully cellaring for 5-10 years.