Villa Don Maximiano stands out among top wines in latest Chile Report by Vinous | Errazuriz

9 June, 2022

Villa Don Maximiano stands out among top wines in latest Chile Report by Vinous

With outstanding 95 points, the new release of Villa Don Maximiano, vintage 2019, was awarded as one of the best Chilean Red wines rated by Joaquín Hidalgo, Argentinian journalist and oenologist that covers the wine regions of Argentina and Chile for Antonio Galloni’s Vinous, one of the most respected wine publications in the globe.

The 2019 vintage of Villa Don Maximiano was widely praised in its latest Vinous review: “… A blend of 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 18% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc, 7% Grenache and 3% Mourvèdre from Panquehue (…) Vivid purple in color. The nose presents fruity aromas of sour cherry and black currant plus hints of spice, dried flowers and cigar box. Delivering remarkably intense flavors -a virtue of the region- it’s juicy and smooth as silk, with refined, grippy tannins. The finish has a well-defined profile and lingers at length. A delicious wine.”

This remarkable rating acquires special relevance as it is the highest score that Villa Don Maximiano has received in its brief track record, since its inaugural release with the 2016 vintage, recognizing the outstanding quality of this red blend sourced from the Aconcagua Valley and auguring a great potential for vintages to come.

Joaquín Hidalgo travelled to Chile earlier this year and visited around 40 producers from Aconcagua to Itata valleys, in which Viña Errázuriz was included with a dedicated visit on January 26th hosted by Technical Director Francisco Baettig in Panquehue. His report recounts his experience in the country across 800 bottled tasted, plus featured insights about Aconcagua Valley: “In Aconcagua (399ha), another valley with a similar profile (than Maipo), the flavors grow more intense along with a medium body and polished tannins: 2020 Arboleda or 2019 Don Max are good examples.”

Other wines from Viña Errázuriz were also included with excellent scores and reviews, which ratifies the quality consistency of this Premium wine producer, referred in the report as a “pioneer and major player in the Chilean wine export business. Founded in the mid-19th century, the winery specializes in the terroir of Aconcagua, where they grow grapes from the coast to the Andes. Overseen by oenologist Francisco Baettig since 2005, the house has released several landmark wines recently: Pizarras Chardonnay and Pinot Noir set the benchmark for the varieties in Chile, while since 2005 they have been bottling Kai, a majority Carmenere. Their classic wines also include Don Maximiano, of which vintages are available dating back to the 1980s.

Las Pizarras Chardonnay 2020, 94 points: “The 2020 Chardonnay Las Pizarras from Aconcagua Costa was fermented and aged for 13 months in 400-liter French barrels, 30% of them new. Yellow in color, with a delicate nose of mild hazelnut, apple, linden blossom, honey, acacia, hints of herbs and a whiff of mint. In the mouth, the vibrant acidity sets the tone, accompanied by a chalky, saline feel that injects energy and tension before the long, bold finish.”

Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve 2019, 94 points: “The 2019 blend Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 10% Carmenere and 3% Petit Verdot from Aconcagua and spent 22 months in 75% new barrels. Purple in color. The nose offers young red fruit with hints of fresh blackberry and plum and a layer of spices and black tea over a bed of cedar. In the mouth, the juice provides an anchor for vibrant, fine-grained tannins that enhance the intense flavor. A wine that favors subtlety over potency.”

Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2020, 93 points: “The 2020 Pinot Noir Las Pizarras comes from Aconcagua Costa and was 15% fermented in whole bunches before spending 13 months in 55% new French barrels. Cherry red in the glass. The layered nose offers precise notes of strawberry and sour cherry, hints of elderberry, and traces of blood, sweet spice and stalk in front of an oaky backdrop. In the mouth, this is structured around the freshness and fine-grained, reactive tannins that tickle the gums before the long, fruity finish.”

KAI Carmenere 2019, 93 points: “The 2019 Carmenere KAI has a 5% dash of Syrah from Panquehue, Aconcagua, and was aged for 22 months in 70% new barrels. Intense purple in color. The nose is a little shy, revealing aromas of fresh plum, jam and spice over a delicate layer of ash and jalapeño and a wisp of smoke. In the mouth, this is smooth and expansive with a fleshy, voluminous flow tempered by peppery pyrazine aromas.”

Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve 2012, 93 points: “The 2012 Founder’s Reserve Don Maximiano is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Carmenere, 8% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec from Panquehue, Aconcagua Valley, and spent 22 months in 63% new barrels. Dark terra-cotta in color. The complex, evolving nose presents notes of dried figs, cassis, bay leaf, thyme and ash plus hints of jam. In the mouth, the tannins are firm and fine with good grip, while the flow is dry, the intense flavor tuned up by subtle pyrazine aromas. An unusual example of a well-aged, sun-kissed wine.”

Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve 2015, 92 points: “The 2015 Blend Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve is a mixture of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenere, 8% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc that spent 22 months in 68% new barrels. Garnet red with purple flecks. The nose begins with balsam and bay leaf against a dark fruit backdrop, plus hints of cedar and black currant. In the mouth, it feels clean and dry, with grippy tannins well supported by a juicy flow that stretches out the finish.”

MAX Chardonnay 2020, 91 points: “The 2020 Chardonnay Max from Aconcagua was aged for 10 months in 20% new barrels. Greenish yellow in the glass. The clear nose offers hints of apple and pear against a tropical backdrop and hazelnut aromas. In the mouth, it’s both creamy and fatty with good, integrated freshness.”

MAX Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, 91 points: “The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Max from Aconcagua was aged for 12 months in 30% new oak. Garnet red with a purple sheen. The clearly defined aromatic profile features mild notes of black currant, sour cherry and hints of cedar. At 13.5% alcohol, this is juicy with a tacky flow and full flavor. A competitive red.”

MAX Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, 91 points: “The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Max is also 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 3% Syrah and 2% Cabernet Franc from Panquehue, Aconcagua Valley, aged for 12 months in one-fourth new barrels. Dark garnet red in color with notes of ash and black currant over a bed of cigar box. The palate delivers intense flavors with a taut flow, fine-grained tannins and a reactive character before fruity flavors gather at the back of the mouth.”

MAX Pinot Noir 2020, 90 points: “The 2020 Pinot Noir Max from Aconcagua Costa was aged for 11 months in barrels. Bright ruby red in hue. The nose offers notes of damp earth, gentle sour cherry aromas, hints of orange zest and herbs and a little mint. Terse with grippy tannins, this is agile and slightly tense, resulting in an energetic effect overall.”