Sun of the Mountain
Ninquen was founded in 1998 by brothers Eduardo and Hernan Gras and Cristian Hartwig when they boldly sowed Chile’s first mountain vineyard. Ninquen translates to “Plateau on a Mountain” in the ancient Mapuche language. They specialize in three wines at their winery; a red blend, a Syrah and a Cabernet Sauvignon – Carmenere blend. The Antu Niquen Cabernet Sauvignon- Carmenere is a beautiful and uncommon blend, especially in terms of our domestic wines. Chileans have been working with Carmenere since its rediscovery in 1994. See The Lost Grape. Because of the combination of these two specific grapes with their own unique qualities, this wine has a deep complexity. It boasts the dry tightness of a Cabernet and the peppery finish of a Carmenere. This wine is dusty with firm tannins, black fruits, mocha and spice.
Antu means “sun” in the Mapuche language. With the combination of Antu and Ninquen, this wine loosely translates to “Sun of the Mountain.” Fitting, as this shining star stands out among Cabernet blends. Even the marigold colored label emits a sense of warming and draws your eye to it as it stands out on the shelf.
The vineyard is at 1000 ft elevation and the grapes that thrive in that climate is Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Syrah and Petit Verdot. One of the best things about this winery is their sustainability practices. The wine makers feel they are a part of a special place and have been accepted by the rough and rugged landscape. They believe in the importance of understanding the terrior and being in harmony with their surrounds versus trying to take control. They state: “Our policy has always been to not attack or alter nature in its wild state. Instead, we want to become part of it as we want to share the value of its natural state.”