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Caballo Loco 17 NV (1x75cl)

** VERY LIMITED UK STOCK. ABOUT TO BE USED IN OUR FORTHCOMING VALDIVIESO/CABALLO LOCO TASTING, SO LIMITED TO TWO BOTTLES PER CUSTOMER UNTIL AFTER THE TASTING! **

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 panel tasting of South American Icon Wines (see blue link below).

Caballo Loco 17 NV - June 2019 Decanter review

The winemaker's own technical sheets appear below (click blue links) - the Spanish inclusion may seem a little leftfield, but includes regional and other info that have yet to be put onto the English version

Caballo Loco 17 - fiche technique - English

Caballo Loco 17 - fiche technique - Spanish

For our article on 'the' (this) Caballo Loco, the appellation/Grand Cru Caballo Locos and the better wines of the Valdivieso fleet, click this link.

Valdivieso's top wine and stable star, the Caballo Loco is known around the world and each year changes merely its edition and, technically, not its vintage. It brings together every Cabollo Loco made since 1992 (the year of version 1), in what is, effectively, a solera system (as used for sherry and brandy de Jerez).

The idea for Caballo Loco was inspired by the legendary Ribera de Duero, Vega Sicilia Único Gran Reserva, which is produced using the solera method. This is the winemaking technique used for sherry and brandy de Jerez production, in which barrel-aged wines from different years are progressively and fractionally blended for reasons of both complexity and consistency.

The first Caballo Loco was produced in 1994 (Caballo Loco 1) and made from a blend of 50% of that year’s vintage with an aged blend from 1992. 

The resulting wine is bottle-aged for at least 18 months before release onto the market, and being a blend of wines from different years, there is, of course, no vintage on the label.

The grapes for the premium Caballo Loco come from four different vineyards in central Chile. The blend of the new wine varies each time it is made. Number 1 for example was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir, whilst later editions have contained varieties as diverse as Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carménère. Only Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are ever-present, these being blended with the best grapes from the other varieties that were most successful in the particular year (and best suited to create the intended balance of the Caballo Loco).

Each bottle of this version 17 therefore comprises:

- 50% version 16 and

- 50% of grapes from harvests from 2012 and 2013. New for version 17 was Carignan from Melozal (a sub-region of Maule) and Syrah from Limarí. This variety brings to the Caballo Loco another dimension of complexity, with balanced freshness and acidity.

The result is a wine of great concentration, quite unlike any other on the market. There is intense mature berry fruit on the nose and richness on the palate with velvety tannins, and so many layers of flavours that the wine is almost impossible to describe in detail. The secret blend of grapes from different vintages create intense aromas of dark cherry, coffee, and rich fruitcake. Full bodied on the palate with a beautiful lingering structure. 

It is a unique - some say crazy - wine, which is quite incomparable. It has great aromatic complexity and in the mouth, and an ageing potential of at least 10 years.

ABV = 14.5%.

£34.60

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Apalta 2017 (1x75cl)

** BOUGHT IN TO ORDER - ORDERS PLACED BY 9am MONDAY WILL BE IN STOCK FOR DELIVERY THREE DAYS LATER.**

The Caballo Loco Grands Crus were created by Valdivieso to show the different wines that are fundamental components of the icon Caballo Loco wine. For this reason, specific wines from specific valleys wine were born, where each strain/blend reflects the maximum expression of that valley.

One can arguably see these wines as understudies for the "true" Caballo Loco, but they are more than that, being quite superb - and full-throttle - wines in their own right, made with all the care, attention and know-how of the NV/"solera" version.

This Grand Cru Apalta represents all the fruit power and smoothness of the Colchagua Valley, with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Apalta 2017 - fiche technique

70% Carmenere, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Great intensity of ripe plum, blackberry and damson with a hint of pepper spice. The fruit flavours and oak are beautifully integrated with smooth tannins and a firm structure.  

ABV = 14.5%.

£24.60

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2015 (1x75cl)

The Caballo Loco Grands Crus were created by Valdivieso to show the different wines that are fundamental components of the icon Caballo Loco wine. For this reason, specific wines from specific valleys wine were born, where each strain/blend reflects the maximum expression of that valley.

One can arguably see these wines as understudies for the "true" Caballo Loco, but they are more than that, being quite superb - and full-throttle - wines in their own right, made with all the care, attention and know-how of the NV/"solera" version.

This Grand Cru Apalta represents all the fruit power and smoothness of the Limari Valley, showcasing the excellent Syrah (100% here) of this region.

For full details, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2015 - fiche technique

A big, full-bodied wine with delicious aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries, coffee and dark chocolate. It has a luxurious texture and a lingering finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£24.15

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Maipo 2015 (1x75cl)

** BOUGHT IN TO ORDER - ORDERS PLACED BY 9am MONDAY WILL BE IN STOCK FOR DELIVERY THREE DAYS LATER.**

The Caballo Loco Grands Crus were created by Valdivieso to show the different wines that are fundamental components of the icon Caballo Loco wine. For this reason, specific wines from specific valleys wine were born, where each strain/blend reflects the maximum expression of that valley.

One can arguably see these wines as understudies for the "true" Caballo Loco, but they are more than that, being quite superb - and full-throttle - wines in their own right, made with all the care, attention and know-how of the NV/"solera" version.

This Grand Cru Maipo gives the elegance and typical structure of Alto Maipo Valley, with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Maipo 2015 - fiche technique

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc.

A big, full-bodied wine with delicious aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries, coffee and dark chocolate. It has a luxurious texture and a lingering finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£24.15

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Sagrada Familia 2016 (1x75cl)

** BOUGHT IN TO ORDER - ORDERS PLACED BY 9am MONDAY WILL BE IN STOCK FOR DELIVERY THREE DAYS LATER.**

The Caballo Loco Grands Crus were created by Valdivieso to show the different wines that are fundamental components of the icon Caballo Loco wine. For this reason, specific wines from specific valleys wine were born, where each strain/blend reflects the maximum expression of that valley.

One can arguably see these wines as understudies for the "true" Caballo Loco, but they are more than that, being quite superb - and full-throttle - wines in their own right, made with all the care, attention and know-how of the NV/"solera" version.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves (new 2016 data sheet expected imminently).

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Sagrada Familia 2016 - fiche technique

This Grand Cru Sagrada Familia represents all the fruit power and smoothness of the Curico Valley (and specifically the Sagrada Famila DO within it) with a blend of Cabernet Franc (43%), Petit Verdot (43%), 7% Syrah and 7% Carmenere.

ABV = 14.0%.

£25.00

Outer Limits by Montes Old Roots Itata Cinsault 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded a Platinum Medal, 97 points and Best in Show Status at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. The Montes wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process. The Outer Limits wines were born out of Aurelio Montes' desire to push Chilean viticulture in a new direction. The 45 hectare Zapallar Vineyard in the Aconcagua Valley was Montes' first venture into the 'outer limits'. Due to the balance and concentration in the Outer Limits wines, they can be enjoyed now or allowed to age for a few years, rewarding with a wonderfully complex bouquet.

The Cinsault vineyards are located in the Guarilihue sector of the Itata Valley in southern Chile. It was here that the first vines were planted nearly 500 years ago. The soils are granitic in origin with a predominance of red clay and high quartz content and benefit from high water retention enabling dry farming to be practiced. The vines are "head trained" and the vineyard density is 4,444 plants per hectare.

The 2016-17 season was generally very dry but bud break and bunch development was good despite the expected 50% yield reduction – an impact of the previous year. As a consequence, the fruit had a higher concentration of phenolics and the well distributed bunches within the canopy ensured healthy fruit. Despite the high summer heat, harvest occurred on schedule and delivered fruit with good acidity levels and ripe tannins.

Hand-picked grapes were destemmed and processed into steel tanks via gravity flow where they macerated for five days at 8 °C, with a portion of the grapes macerated with dry ice prior to fermentation for extra extraction. The grapes were then fermented for approximately seven days at around 24 ° C. Post fermentation, the wine was processed in two ways: one part was transferred directly to third use French oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation and the remainder was transferred to concrete eggs. After three months ageing, the wine was blended, gently filtered and bottled.

A bright ruby colour, the wine has perfumes of fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries alongside notes of wild flowers and country herbs. Juicy with hints of spice, the short period spent in oak adds complexity to the nose and ensures smooth rounded tannins.

ABV = 14

£15.95

Perez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below)....

Perez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 - December 2018 Decanter review

... and was also awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best Chilean Red Bordeaux Varietals) at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Perez Cruz Reserva Cab Sauv 2015 - August 2017 Decanter review

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from that vintage (2016 sheet expected soon) from the winemakers themselves.

Perez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 - fiche technique

Perez Cruz is a family owned boutique winery located in the Alto Maipo. Their estate covers 250 hectres of vines planted in one of the most sought-after areas for growing premium Cabernet Sauvignon. This red wine specialist also produces small parcels of Syrah, Cot (Malbec), Carmenère and Petit Verdot. From the first vintage in 2002, President Andres Perez Cruz has seen the estate's speciality red wine amass an impressive array of awards and gold medals. Their eco-friendly winery was built by award winning architect Jose Cruz Ovalle, to fulfil the technical objective of fine wine production. Its wooden roof and natural light allow thermal isolation and free air flow circulation, making it one of the most unique wineries in the world.

The Liguai Estate is located in the Maipo Andes sub-region and is nestled against the mountain foothills at between 1450 and 1700 feet elevation. Trained on Double Guyot systems with drip irrigation, the vines yield 3.12 tonnes per acre. The rocky soils are of both alluvial and colluvial origins. The cooling influences of the mountain air, along with the Pacific Ocean breezes ensure a long ripening season. Harvested by hand, the grapes are picked once they have reached the perfect ripeness of tannins and flavours.

The grapes were carefully selected. Each block was fermented individually so it could reveal its unique characteristics of every corner of the vineyard. The grapes were gently crushed and macerated at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks. The skins were pumped over the must during fermentation extracting colour, flavours and fine tannins providing structure in the final wine. The wine was then macerated for a period of 24 days. Ageing took place in American and French oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months.

Cabernet Sauvignon 91%, Syrah 4%, Carmenère 3%, Petit Verdot 2%.

Intense blackcurrant and eucalyptus scents on the nose are echoed on the palate, combined with rich jammy fruits, velvety smooth tannins and a long, intense finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£11.95

Primera Luz Merlot 2019 (1x75cl)

Primera Luz is produced by Viñedos Puertas, a family-run business founded in 1950. The vineyard is comprised of 80 hectares of fields irrigated by water flowing down from the Andes Mountains, and a winery known as El Milagro, located at the heart of the Curico Valley. The wines embody the character of the region, and display brilliant freshness.

This wine is full of fresh, raspberry and strawberry aromas, with a light and juicy palate that is bursting with forest fruit. It is easy-drinking and moreish. This wine is a great match for many foods including lamb chops with coarse-grain mustard and red-tomato chutney, grilled lamb kebabs with cumin and cinnamon, or a duck salad.

ABV = 13.0%.

£7.60

Valdivieso Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015 (1x75cl)

Based in Lontué in the Curicó Valley, Valdivieso has a wealth of vineyards and the quality of their terroirs is shown by their Single Valley Lot/Valley Selection and Single Vineyard wines. The whole range encapsulates everything that Chile excels at: rich, vibrant flavours and smooth, glossy textures - and the wines deserve the multitude of gongs they have picked up in recent years. Well-travelled Kiwi winemaker, Brett Jackson, has settled in Chile and much of Valdivieso’s success in recent years can be credited to his talent.

The fruit comes from the La Rosa vineyard, situated in the DO of Sagrada Familia, itself in the Curicó Valley region. This vineyard is now 50 years old. The vineyards hare are all located in a small valley very close to the coastal mountain range. North-facing, it is protected from the cool-cold breezes that blow along the Mataquito River: this is a very warm place by Chilean vineyard standards. 

The grapes were harvested by hand in the third week of April.

The bunches go through a meticulous manual selection before being gently destemmed. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks over a period of 7 to 10 days at a controlled temperature of 26° to 28°C. The must in fermentation is pumped back over  the pomace layer (remontage/remontado) three times a day. The wine is left some 7 to 14 days in post-fermentative maceration to extract further colour and tannins. The wine is then stored for 12 months in French oak barrels (100%), 35% of which are new.

100% Cabernet Franc.

Deep dark red with violet reflections. Very aromatic, some dark berries, cherry, plums with hints of roast capsicums, nice sweet spices, some floral and sweet herbal notes and a slight peppery character. Clean fruity entry, fine tannin texture complemented by elegant spices from the maturation in oak barrels. Full bodied with crisp balancing acidity. Palate has a lovely texture and body from some structured tannins.

Enjoy the concentration now or cellar for up to 7 years.

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.75

Valdivieso Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

Based in Lontué in the Curicó Valley, Valdivieso has a wealth of vineyards and the quality of their terroirs is shown by their Single Valley Lot/Valley Selection and Single Vineyard wines. The whole range encapsulates everything that Chile excels at: rich, vibrant flavours and smooth, glossy textures - and the wines deserve the multitude of gongs they have picked up in recent years. Well-travelled Kiwi winemaker, Brett Jackson, has settled in Chile and much of Valdivieso’s success in recent years can be credited to his talent.

Grapes here are obtained from the Chada vineyard, located in the Maipo Valley. This valley, more than any other of the Chilean valleys, is recognized for producing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The hot summers and soft autumns contribute to obtain an optimum maturity, where the fruit develops great aromas, powerful structure, soft tannins and all the characteristic elegance of the Cabernet Sauvignon from this Chilean terroir.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Harvest is by hand in the last week of April. The bunches go through a meticulous manual selection and are then gently destemmed. The fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, taking some 7 to 10 days at a controlled temperature of 26° to 28°C. The must is pumped back over the pomace three times during the day. The wine stays 7 to 14 days in post-fermentative maceration to extract the best colour and tannins available. The wine is stored for 12 months in French oak barrels, of which 35% are new.

Deep ruby ​​red with violet tints. Complex in the nose. Fruit aromas are of ripe blacks fruits, especially blackberries and black cherries. Menthol notes are mixed with subtle spices like vanilla, cinnamon and coffee. Elegant on the palate: full bodied, structured with marked but silky tannins. The fruit is balanced with a rich acidity that imparts fine longevity to the wine.

All told, an excellent, well-balanced Chilean Cabernet.

ABV = 14.0%.

£15.65

Valdivieso Single Vineyard Carmenere 2017 (1x75cl)

Based in Lontué in the Curicó Valley, Valdivieso has a wealth of vineyards and the quality of their terroirs is shown by their Single Valley Lot/Valley Selection and Single Vineyard wines. The whole range encapsulates everything that Chile excels at: rich, vibrant flavours and smooth, glossy textures - and the wines deserve the multitude of gongs they have picked up in recent years. Well-travelled Kiwi winemaker, Brett Jackson, has settled in Chile and much of Valdivieso’s success in recent years can be credited to his talent.

The fruit was sourced from Peumo, located in the Cachapoal Valley and qualifies for the sub-regional DO/appellation of Peumo.

This valley has warm temperatures with no rain during the growing season, due to the height of the coastal mountains which partially block the cold influence of the Pacific Ocean. The wide temperature fluctuation between night and day, which is key quality factor for colour and tannins in reds; is ideal for this variety, allowing the Carmenère to achieve full ripeness, silky tannins and ripe black fruit aromas. 

The grapes were carefully selected and hand picked in the first week of May. Bunches were gently de-stemmed. Fermentation was in stainless steel tanks for between 7-10 days. During fermentation the must was pumped over the skin cap three times a day. After alcoholic fermentation, there was post-fermentation maceration on skins the for 7 to 14 days, before pressing of the must off the skins.

The wine was aged for 12 months in French (100%) oak barrels, of which 35% were new.

See also blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note on this wine from the team at Valdivieso.

Valdivieso Single Vineyard Carmenere 2017- fiche technique

100% Carmenère.

Exuberant deep dark red violet. Intense and complex aromas, some ripe dark berries, blackcurrant, plums, black pepper with hints of sweet spices. Soft tannins with a firm structure. Elegant subtle spices from the maturation in oak barrels are present. The wine has a lovely texture and long persistence.

This is a truly terrific Carmenère, doubly so at the price.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.00

Valdivieso Valley Selection (Single Valley Lot) Merlot, Gran Reserva 2018 (1x75cl)

Naming note: this wine has been available under two different names, hence the bracketed title(!), despite being the same wine. It was previously badged as the Single Valley Lot, but has now joined the fleet of Valley Selection wines from Valdivieso. Technically, the new label is entitled to draw grapes from a slightly wider area of the Rapel Valley, although we believe it will make almost no noticeable change to the wine.

Well-travelled Kiwi winemaker, Brett Jackson, has settled in Chile and much of Valdivieso’s success in recent years can be credited to his talent.

The vineyards for this wine are situated in the Rapel Valley sub-region of Chile's Central Valley where the hot, dry summers allow the grapes to ripen steadily before being harvested. These conditions deliver grapes with soft and silky tannins, distinctive aromas of currants and nuts.

Bright dark red with slight violet reflections. Aroma of fresh red fruits, cherry, plum and spicy notes. Soft and elegant, with silky tannins that deliver good volume and structure. Sweet and rich plum fruit with just a small hint of spice. It is full bodied with hints of cocoa and vanilla.

100% Merlot.

This is a rich and sumptuous Merlot at an incredible price.

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.25

Vina Echeverria Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2019 edition panel tasting of Chilean Pinot Noir (see blue link below).

Viña Echeverria Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2017 - October 2019 Decanter review

Viña Echeverría is a family-run estate winery, owned and managed by the Echeverría family. Established in 1930, but with an agricultural heritage going back to the 1700s, Viña Echeverría is as much today, as always, driven by a shared passion for winemaking and an uncompromising search for excellence. Viña Echeverría combines nearly a century of viticulture and winemaking experience with a modern state-of-the-art winery, to produce a range of over 20 quality wines from nine different grape varieties. It has recently been awarded its Sustainable Winery status by Wines of Chile, as well as its ISO9000 certification.

The vineyard is located in the Casablanca Valley, a cool-climate coastal region close to the Pacific Ocean approximately 47 miles north of Santiago. The proximity to the sea results in a Mediterranean climate, with pronounced maritime influence. The cooling sea breezes from the cold Humboldt stream, tempers the heat of the warm, sunny days and creates cool foggy mornings, ideal for top quality Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The soils are clay and sandy soils, which provide good drainage. Careful pruning ensures the correct balance between canopy and fruit.

The 2017 harvest was characterised by high temperatures throughout the ripening period from véraison onwards and late rainfall during spring. The temperatures were warm and favourable during flowering. The warm average temperatures allowed for a high accumulation of sugars in the berries which resulted in earlier harvest than usual, by one to two weeks. The red wines achieved soft tannins, good colour and a great aromatic expression.

Cold pre-fermentation maceration took place at 5°C for four to five days, in order to extract colour and primary aromas. Fermentation lasted for 10 to 12 days at temperatures of 26° to 29°C in stainless steel tanks, with selected yeasts. Post fermentation maceration lasted for five days, then 100% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation. 75% of the wine was aged in French oak barrels for six months, adding oak complexity to the final blend.

100% Pinot Noir.

This elegant Pinot Noir combines aromas of strawberries, black cherries and raspberries with hints of chocolate and mocha. The palate is round and soft, with refreshing acidity and balanced fruit. Works well with earthy flavours such as mushrooms and truffles, grilled meats - pheasant or a rack of lamb. Try with oily fish such as salmon and tuna.

ABV = 13.5%.

£10.60
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