13 October, 2015


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Wine & Spirits, Special Issue, Winter 2015, 29th Annual Buying Guide 2016

“One of the oldest wineries en Chile has decided to reinvent itself, exploring the valley where it was foundes nearly a century and a half ago. New vineyards closet to the coast, new varieties and the decision to reduce the use of new oak to lend more freshness to the wines are giving impressive results.”
Looking to the pacific: Aconcagua Valley is about 70 miles north of Santiago, in a semi-desert area that stretches along the Aconcagua River, from the Andes to the Pacific. Errázurriz first began planting vineyards in the warm plains in the middle of the valley, but in 1999, the team began to explores westward, towards cooler areas near the sea, like Ocoa. Six years later, they planted another vineyard in Manzanar, just nine miles from the Pacific Ocean, on gentle coastal slopes where the soils are clay and schist. That vineyard delivered the winery’s best syrah to date: The Aconcagua Costa 2013 is filled with mineral tones, fresh fruit flavor and a juicy and silky texture—a totally new expression of Aconcagua Valley.

A mediterranean Approach: The star of Errázuriz’s portfolio has been cabernet sauvignon, the base for Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve, one of the most important reds in modern-day Chile. However, winemaker Francisco Baettig has a special interest in the “Mediterranean” grapes like mourvedre and grenache, wich he planted in 1999 in Ocoa. Today, these grapes are challenging cabernet sauvignon for primacy, as the are producing some of the winery’s best wines. The fruit flavors and crisp acidity. A dollop of carignan from Maule, far to the south, adds firm tannins and spices, while some syrah from Manzanar adds a bright, herb-scented lift.

Aconcagua Costa: In 2013, the unusually cool temperaturas, combined with the cool breezes off the Pacific, created a sauvignon blanc that’s no less impressive than those from the more talked-about coastal valleys, such as Casablanca or Leyda. The Aconcagua Costa Sauvignon Blanc in 2013 is citric and mineral, its texture crisp and taut—a White that forces us to rethink what we knew of Aconcagua and its wines.—P.T.

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