Posts Tagged ‘Colchagua Valley’

New Chilean Wines

November 19, 2013 Leave a comment

I spent yesterday working on a new historical project which is based on some of my recent research.  I am very excited and would love to stay submerged in research but I figure I should recommend some wines.  The 2010 Santa Laura, Laura Hartwig, Carmenere, Reserva is a good value, evocative of Carmenere with a robust nature.  The 2010 Garcia + Schwaderer, Facundo is a brighter wine which should integrate and relax with a little cellar age.  The 2010 Clos Des Fous, Cabernet Sauvignon is also a brighter wine with smoky flavors.  It was a little split in personality between the young fruit and intensity.  Perhaps it just needs a few months in the cellar.  Lastly, the 2011 Garcia + Schwaderer, Pinot Noir, Special Selection Sofia was just odd.  The acidity, tannins, and integration were all good but the raisin and dried fruit aromas and flavors continued to develop.  They were the last thing I expected in a Pinot Noir.  We did not finish the bottle.


2010 Clos Des Fous, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alto Cachapoal –
Imported by Vine Connections.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 15 year old vines on soils of granite and volcanic round rocks at 2000 feet of elevation.  It was aged for 18 months in wood and cement vessels.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose was a little smoky with red fruit, eventually becoming pungent red and black fruit.  In the mouth were riper, rounder fruit with powdery ripe then tarter red fruit flavors.  It was generally brighter, leaving the impression of younger vines or cooler climate.  It then ramped up in intensity with gum coating spices, tart acidity, and an earthy hint in the finish.  ** Now-2018.


2010 Santa Laura, Laura Hartwig, Carmenere, Reserva, Colchagua Valley –
Imported by Oasis Wine.  This wine is 100% Carmenere.  Alcohol 14%.  There was black fruit in the mouth with a hint of the vegetal Carmenere flavor.  Then there were firm black fruit flavors which were a little spicy, powdery, controlled ripeness and a little structure in the finish.  It had a good aftertaste with some gentle spice flavors.  It has some youthful robustness which makes it a pleasure to drink now.  *** Now-2018.


2011 Garcia + Schwaderer, Pinot Noir, Special Selection Sofia, Casablanca –
Imported by Vine Connections.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from 14 year old vines at 1030 feet of elevation.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 18 months in used French oak. Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was a mixture of dried raisins, raspberry candy, and some fresh fruit.  In the mouth was red fruit with ethereal flavors of dried fruit.  There was nice acidity with both black and red fruit near the finish and an aftertaste with some candy sweet.  With air the dried fruit and raisin aromas and flavors developed to become heavily distracting.  * Now.


2010 Garcia + Schwaderer, Facundo
Imported by Vine Connections.  This wine is a blend of 50% Carignan, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot, and 7% Malbec sourced from 30 year old vines on granitic soils at 325 feet of elevation.  It was aged for 24 months in French oak.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was slightly pungent with black fruit.  In the mouth were tart red fruit, slightly smoky black fruit, more acidity then some tar.  It became brighter with salivating acidity flavors.  It was a little dense with both the structure and acidity noticeable on top of the tongue.  It had some grip, drying tannins, and citric hint.  **(*) Now-2020.


Three Random Notes

September 14, 2012 1 comment

Here are a trio of tasting notes from this summer.  The Olivier Leflaive is an affordable buy and makes an acceptable, inexpensive selection.  The Lovingston would work to both cook with and drink when making braised ribs.  The Veramonte is the most interesting of the lot.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2009 Olivier Leflaive, Les Setilles, Bourgogne Blanc – $14
This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault which was vinified for 8 months in both stainless steel and oak barrels.  The color is a light+ yellow.  The nose reveals yellow fruit with a little barrel toast.  In the mouth the flavors are apple-like at first then the wine rounds out becoming a bit vibrant and a little savory.  It becomes tart with a touch of tannins in the finish.  ** Now-2013.

2009 Lovingston, Rotunda Red, Monticello – $12
This wine is mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  Alcohol 13.7%.  The color is a light to medium purplish ruby.  The light to medium strength nose is followed by medium bodied flavors of somewhat ripe fruit and greenhouse flavors.  There is a touch of heat as chunky tannins dry things out in the finish.  The flavors drop off fast leaving a dark and stormy aftertaste.  Drinkable.  ** Now.

2007 Veramonte, Primus, Colchagua Valley- $15
Imported by Huneeus Vintners.  This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, 8% Merlot, and 7% Carmenere.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose and mouth are similar.  In the mouth it opens up well with tangy, a little chewy, grainy, red fruit.  There was some greenhouse note as the flavors filled up the mouth.  The drying, tannins coat the lips but have some enjoyable ripeness.  After an hour there is underlying black licorice, dry cinnamon baking spiced, black cherry, and some spicy tannins in the finish.  ** Now-2016.

Two Wines From South America

May 17, 2012 1 comment

I love variety in the wines I drink and these two wines certainly satisfied my curiosity.  Vinedos Emiliana was founded in Chile during the 1990s by Rafeal and Jose Guilisasti when they converted a traditional winery into one that was organic and biodynamic in order to produce the highest quality wines.  Their production process is now certified as Carbon Neutral.  But what captured my attention was the inclusion of Carmenere and Mourvedre.  Done right I find Carmenere imparts an ethereal set of earth, spices, and leather and Mourvedre provides an assertive earthy, fruit quality.  I do not see many wines from Uruguay so I grabbed the bottle from Bodega Bouza.  Surprisingly this bodega was founded in 1942.  It underwent a complete restoration in 2002 and now produces wine from 17 hectares of vineyards.

The Vinedos Emiliana, Coyam  was my favorite wine of these two.  Its complexity provides interest on the nose and in the mouth.  If you are looking for a red wine in the mid $20s then I certainly recommend you try this wine.  It is well priced and I am somewhat surprised this older vintage is still available.  The Bodega Bouza, Tannat is on the young side.  You must try it if you have never drunk a wine from Uruguay, just make sure to give it several hours of air.  These wines are currently available at MacArthur Beverages.

2006 Vinedos Emiliana, Coyam, Colchagua Valley – $26
Imported by Royal Imports.  This wine is a blend of 34% Syrah, 17% Carmenere, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, and 3% Mourvedre sourced from biodynamic vineyards in Colchagua Valley.  The wine was aged for one year in 80% French and 20% American oak.  There is an interesting nose with a mixture of fruit.  In the mouth the focused red fruit is supported by fresh acidity then mixed with earthy black fruit.  The flavors are a little chewy and wild, there is a touch of wood box, with black spiced fruit coming out with the ripe tannins.  The edge of the wine is softened by some maturity.  The mouthfilling finish has structured bramble fruit.  *** Now-2019.

2008 Bodega Bouza, Tannat, Las Violetes – $17
Imported by The Southern Wine Group.  This wine is 100% Tannat sourced from 16-30 year old vines.  It was fermented in 70% concrete and 30%  in tank, underwent malolactic fermentation, then was aged for 14 months in French and American barrels.  On the first night the wine was rather shutdown with a strong woodsy aroma.  On the second night there were gentle blueberries and straight-up hard black fruit with matched the acidity.  There were fine but ripe drying tannins.  The aftertaste left impression of old wood.  ** 2015-2019.