Santa Ema Merlot Reserva 2018

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Tasting Notes

This is a complex and fragrant wine, with blackberry, black cherry, clove, vanilla, and coffee aromas that are fresh and inviting. This is a big and very well-balanced wine. The mouth offers black fruits, especially plum, cherry, and black berries, very ripe but neither overripe nor dried. Delicious wood and vanilla notes along with a touch of spice and chocolate. Tannins are ripe and functional. Best of all, there’s not even the faintest hint of the green pepper that many Chilean reds show. The mouthfeel is soft and round. Medium plus in body with a very long finish.


The Santa Ema Estate dates to 1917, when Don Pedro Pavone Voglino, an athlete and businessman, arrived in Chile from his native Italy. In 1931, he acquired 35 hectares (ha) in Maipo, founding the estate. He and his entrepreneurial son Félix Pavone Arbea began the Vinos Santa Ema company in 1956, building a state-of-the-art (for that time) winery. Most wine was consumed locally, but they began exporting in 1986, first to Brazil. They bought a 53-ha estate, La Peral, in 2000. In 2011, the operation was certified sustainable by the Wines of Chile organization. This involves practices in three areas: vineyards, winery, and social responsibility. The family acquired the 100-ha Cerro Blanco estate in Pirque shortly after, and in 2017, the fourth generation took over running the enterprise. Today, Santa Ema wines can be found in 30 countries.

Grapes for this wine come from the banks of the Maipo River. The spring of 2018 was cold and rainy, but summer was temperate, with high temps in March and April. Harvest began a little later than usual and ended in May. Yields were higher than expected, but the quality was very high.

Grapes were crushed and fermented in stainless steel for seven days at 30° C, followed by six days of post-fermentation maceration. After malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine was racked to French and American oak barrels, where it aged for 8-10 months.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Grilled preparations, Hearty stew, Lamb, Red Meat, Roasted Root Vegetables

Chile , Maipo Valley
Grape Varietal:
$17.00 each