Carmen, Chile’s oldest winery, can be got in more than 50 countries around the world.
But between them, Ireland and Canada would be responsible for 35%-40% of Carmen’s global exports.
So stated Sebastian Labbé, Carmen’s winemaker, who made a special visit to Dublin recently to host a tasting of the range for the wine trade.
The tasting, held in Monty’s of Katmandu in Temple Bar’s Eustace Street, helped familiarise Gilbeys reps and guests with this selection which includes a top-of-the-range Carmen Winemaker’s Reserve Carmenere, a silky blend of 65% Carmenere, 20% Malbec and 15% Carignan.
A new label has also been introduced for Carmen Reserva which now boasts the label Premier 1850.
At entry level, the Carmen range includes Tolten Sauv Blanc and Cab Sauv house wines.
The current portfolio represents Carmen as a modern brand and despite it being the height of harvest-time in Chile right now, the Irish market was considered important enough for Carmen to fly Sebastian out to Dublin for a few days to help better familiarise us with the label. As a result, he was being inundated with texts from home, thus he kept a vicarious weather-eye on managing this year’s harvest from a distance.
Sebastian’s a keen surfer – he even used his surfing passion to create the Carmen Wave series – and had heard of the surfing scene in Donegal. But this was not the time to go see for himself; he’d to be up early the next morning to return via Madrid to that harvest in Chile.
Perhaps next time he’ll build Donegal into his schedule.