Castel Pujol Folklore Tinto 2021
80% Tannat, 20% Petit Manseng
This is the more experimental label of the Carrau family’s Cerro Chapeu winery in Rivera in northern Uruguay. Here Tannat has been fermented on the skins of the white grape Petit Manseng (after it was pressed). The idea is that the skins help fix the colour of the Tannat, and with this inky wine it certainly has worked! But you also get nice bright fruit expression in this wine and a juicy finish.
Bodega Cerro Chapeu winery and the Carrau family weren’t only pioneers in planting vines in Rivera, on the border of Brazil’s Campanha region and city of Santana do Livramento, but also in designing the first winery in South America which was built into a hillside – four floors down. The gravity-flow winery, constructed in 1997, was ahead of its time and continues to allow the family to make low intervention wines without any need for pumps of temperature control in the stone cellar.
The Carrau family has a long history of wine production with more than ten generations dedicated to the profession, which started with Francisco Carrau Vehils in Catalunya in 1752. Today the winemaking is in the hands of his descendent Dr Francisco Carrau Bonomi who designed the family winery in this unique region of Uruguay, just 12 km from the border of Brazil.
After many years and generations of making wines in Canelones, the Carrau family pioneered the new wine region of Rivera in 1975 under Francisco’s father, Quico Carrau Pujol, who was working with UC Davis in a research project in search for a terroir which would be virus free. The well-draining sandy red soils of Rivera were ideal, and they planted vines of Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Arinarnoa, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.