Viña Carmen, Chile
She’s only 33, but Emily Faulconer had already managed to work at several of Chile’s best wineries, including Maquis and Viñedos de Alcohuaz, as well as overseas at Cakebread Cellars in California, Trinity Hill in New Zealand and Château Canon in Bordeaux before taking up her position as chief winemaker at Viña Carmen last year. She lists running as one of her hobbies and is on a fast track through her native industry, ‘burning the candle at both ends’, as she puts it in perfect English, to achieve her goals.
So far, she’s only blended and aged wines made by her equally talented predecessor at Carmen, Sebastián Labbé, but she’s already making her influence felt, reducing the time in oak for the icon Cabernet Sauvignon, Gold Reserve. She has exciting plans for the 2018 vintage too. Faulconer’s time at Alcohuaz, where she worked with the influential Marcelo Retamal, also speaks for itself, helping to make some of Chile’s most exciting reds.
‘Wines tell stories for me,’ she says. ‘At our three properties in Alto Maipo, Apalta and Pumanque, we have a huge opportunity with different soils, exposures, clones, altitudes and varieties to make wines that identify the specific potential of each site.’
Carmen, Gold Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Alto Maipo, Chile 2015 94
‘Wines tell stories for me’ Emily Faulconer
£50 Santa Rita Estates UK Emily Faulconer only blended this wine, but her gentle touch is apparent in the quality of the tannins. An example of old-vine Maipo Cabernet at its best, with lovely pastille fruit and understated oak. Drink 2020-2032 Alc 14.5% ➢
Below: Emily Faulconer