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Delving into La Misión Merlot Reserva Especial, one is immediately greeted by an opulent array of primary aromas characterized by profound ripe fruits; the unmistakable depth of plum presents itself as a signature to the Merlot varietal, harmoniously accompanied by the inviting, sweet scent of blackberries. The herbaceous notes, reminiscent of the distinct green bell pepper to the fresh grassiness are suggestive of a Carménère influence, thereby enriching the aromatic complexity of the wine. The spice weaves its way through the olfactory experience, with whispers of black pepper and the warm comfort of cloves originating from the oak’s embrace during aging.
Upon the palate, the flavors express themselves with a candor reflective of their aromatic promises. The same ripe fruit flavors resonate profoundly, with plum and blackberry conjuring a luxuriant sweetness, enhanced by an elegant exhalation of vanilla from the oak aging. Spicy undertones, notably black pepper, contribute an intricate complexity that engages the senses further. The herbaceous elements, dark and green, bestow an additional layer of depth that complements the fruit-forward profile.
Texturally, the wine triumphs with a smoothness akin to velvet, moving silkily across the palate. It bears the generous body characteristic of a warm climate Merlot, its weighty presence satiating the desire for a substantial wine. Tannins, robust and well-integrated, provide a structural backbone to the La Misión Merlot Reserva Especial, lending a slight astringency that is both intriguing and delightful. The finish is long and satisfying, a harmonious culmination of flavors and textures, each sip a reflection of the craftsmanship and the Maipo Valley terroir.
The Maipo Valley, from which La Misión Merlot Reserva Especial hails, is not just another wine region—it is the birthplace of Chilean viticulture, with a heritage spanning since the Spanish colonization in the 16th century. The Valley gained international renown in the 19th century with the introduction of French varietals such as Merlot. Today, the modern viticulture of Maipo Valley, particularly in areas like Alto Maipo, is renowned for producing some of the world’s most intriguing Merlot wines. La Misión Merlot Reserva Especial benefits from these high-altitude vineyards, where diurnal temperature variations and gravelly soils contribute to the concentrated flavors and robust tannic structure that distinguish it from its peers.
Store La Misión Merlot Reserva Especial at a constant temperature of 55-58°F (13-14°C) in a dark, humid environment with the bottle positioned horizontally to preserve cork moisture. Protect the wine from vibrations and revisit it periodically to ensure optimal aging conditions.