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Caballo Loco 17 NV (1x75cl)

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

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.

£32.95

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Apalta 2014 (1x 75cl)

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 2014 - fiche technique

£22.85

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2014

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.

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

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2014 - 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.

£22.85

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Maipo 2014 (1x 75cl)

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 2014 - 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.

£22.85

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Sagrada Familia 2015 (1x 75cl)

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.

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Sagrada Familia 2015 - 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 (deep breath) Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere.

£22.85

Chateau Los Boldos Grande Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

Chateau Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, their focus from an early stage has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since being purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results – significantly improved grapes – are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. Clear, bright skies during the summer and a high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity while ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields.  Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle. The wines for the Grande Reserve range are produced with hand-harvested grapes sourced from vineyards that are more than 15 years old.

2015 saw relatively warm temperatures throughout the year. This required well-judged picking dates and careful winemaking in order to maintain acidity and ensure freshness in the wines.

The must saw three days of pre-fermentation maceration in stainless steel tanks to aid colour and flavour extraction from the grapes. It then underwent 20 days of fermentation and further maceration at 25-28°C. It spent 10 months in French oak barrels before bottling.

The wine’s intense ruby colour echoes its aromas of cherry, plum and cassis, with touches of leather and smoke. The palate is fantastically balanced, with ripe tannins and a persistent finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£13.15

Chateau Los Boldos Grande Reserve Merlot 2015 (1x75cl)

Chateau Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, their focus from an early stage has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since being purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results – significantly improved grapes – are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. Clear, bright skies during the summer and a high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity while ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields.  Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle. The wines for the Grande Réserve range are produced with hand-harvested grapes sourced from vineyards planted in the early 2000's.

2015 saw relatively high temperatures throughout the year. This required well-judged picking dates and careful winemaking in order to maintain acidity and ensure freshness in the wines.

The Merlot grapes were macerated for 25 days in stainless steel tanks, with fermentation taking place at temperatures between 25-28°C. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation, and was then aged for 10 months in French oak prior to bottling.

This wine is ruby red in colour, with youthful hues. Bright aromas of red fruits, plums and raspberries are complemented by spicy notes and toast aromas from its time in oak. On the palate, it has soft tannins and good length.

£13.15

Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (1x75cl)

Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the wide diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks over a period of eight days at temperatures of 25-28°C. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged in French and American oak for four months prior to bottling.

Deep ruby red in colour, this wine has ripe red fruit aromas of wild strawberries and redcurrants mingling with black cherry fruit characters and hints of spice from oak ageing. The palate is balanced and fresh, with integrated tannins and an elegant finish.

£9.25

Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Reserve Carmenere 2017 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage (no longer available) was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).

Chateau los Boldos Trad Reserve Carmenere 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

Chateau Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, their focus from an early stage has been on the production of premium wines.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks over a period of eight days at temperatures of 25-28°C. After malolactic fermentation, 60% of the wine was aged in French oak for six months prior to bottling.

Deep ruby red in colour. On the nose, ripe red fruit aromas of wild strawberries and redcurrants mingle with black cherry fruit characters and hints of spice from oak. The palate is balanced and fresh, with integrated tannins and an elegant finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£9.40

Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Reserve Merlot 2017 (1x75cl)

Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.

2017 was notable for the severely damaging fires that spread across large areas of Chile in the first part of the year. Fortunately there was no damage to the Cachapoal Andes area. A generally warm summer produced ripe fruit flavours and the grape harvest started earlier than usual.

The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks for eight days at temperatures between 25-28°C. 60% of the wine spent six months in French oak barrels before bottling to soften the tannins and add complex layers of flavour.

This Merlot is bright ruby-red in colour, with aromas of sour cherries, blackberries, blackcurrants and a touch of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is balanced with velvety tannins and a soft, elegant finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£9.35

Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Reserve Syrah 2015 (1x75cl)

Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.

A rainy winter at the start of the 2014/2015 season helped to accumulate enough water for the entire growing season. January was very cloudy, but February was partially clear and a bit warmer than usual, which allowed harvest to begin at the end of the month with concentrated and aromatic grapes with balanced sugar and acidity levels.

The Syrah grapes for this wine were macerated in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation lasted eight days, at temperatures between 25-28°C. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation before 60% of the wine was placed in French oak barrels and aged for six months.

A deep, dark red wine, with aromas of ripe red fruits and spiced notes of black pepper and tobacco. On the palate, this wine is balanced and spicy with velvety tannins and a soft, fruity finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£9.25

Chateau Los Boldos Vieilles Vignes Merlot 2015 (1x75cl)

Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.

The grapes for this wine are harvested by hand. They then undergo a prefermentative maceration, spending seven days in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures. The must is then fermented over a period of 30 days at a controlled temperature of between 26 - 28°C. Malaolactic fermentation is then allowed to take place before the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.

This wine is an intense ruby-red colour with violet shades. There are aromas of plums, raspberries, strawberries and cherries, with toasted, spicy and herbal notes. This wine is perfectly balanced on the palate, with soft, velvety tannins and a smooth and elegant finish. This wine has the potential to age well for up to 15 years.

£17.65

Clos des Fous Pour Ma Gueule 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition feature on the Pais/Criolla grape in South America (see blue link below).

Clos des Fous Pour Ma Gueule 2016 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

Clos des Fous is an exciting project between four Chilean friends: Pedro Parra (the viticulturalist), François Massoc and Paco Leyton (the winemakers), and Albert Cussen, who looks after the business. 'Fous' is the French word for 'crazy men', a reference to what their peers described as their 'craziness' in crossing the traditional vineyard boundaries of Chile to source grapes from vineyards in the extreme conditions further south and east. Pedro is credited with discovering many of the top vineyard sites across Chile, as well as revolutionising the way in which iconic wineries, such as Montes plant and manage their vineyards. The winery is based in Maule, to the south of the main vineyard area, where the 'Fous' make an enviable range of top quality varietal wines.

The name is a French expression "for my gob", a term used to describe a stash of wine for the producer to drink with friends and family. The grapes for Pour Ma Gueule are sourced largely from Itata Valley located 400 km south of Santiago. This is a cool, wet region without Coastal Mountain protection and lower sunshine hours, which gives elegance to the wines. All the vineyards are very small and measure between two and six hectares. The soil is paleozoic with a small amount of quartz.

The 'El Niño' effect (fluctuations in the temperatures of the Pacific Ocean) made 2016 an unusual year, the average temperature was lower and the harvest was delayed. This allowed the grapes to retain excellent acidity, resulting in well-structured and perfumed wines.

Each of the three varieties used in this blend were hand harvested, vinified and aged separately. After crushing, the musts were fermented in concrete and stainless steel, with malolactic fermentation taking place in tank and old barrels for 12 months. No new oak was used. Once finished, the wines were blended together, making a unique and distinctive wine.

Outstanding fruit with a noseful of red berries, black cherry, black pepper and a hint of violet. The aromas follow through on the palate, with fresh black and red fruit and revealing a lush, full-bodied wine. The mid-palate is round and velvety with very fine tannins, and excellent acidity enhances its liveliness and balance.

£12.70

Clos des Fous Tocao 2013 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition article on Malbec in South America (see blue link below).

Clos des Fous Tocao 2013 - October 2017 Decanter review

The Clos des Fous Tocao is a mesmerizing Malbec from a vineyard planted in 1914 in the southern Bío-Bío Valley, producing fruit with marvelously fresh acidity and fine tannins. Today there are only 27 hectares of Malbec in San Rosendo and Clos des Fous farm four of them. Funnily enough, the word 'Tocao' means 'a bit touched in the head', as nobody else would be crazy enough to work with Malbec in this area!

Clos des Fous is an exciting project between four Chilean friends: Pedro Parra (the viticulturalist), François Massoc and Paco Leyton (the winemakers), and Albert Cussen, who looks after the business. 'Fous' is the French word for 'crazy men', a reference to what their peers described as their 'craziness' in crossing the traditional vineyard boundaries of Chile to source grapes from vineyards in the extreme conditions further south and east. Pedro is the person credited with discovering many of the top vineyard sites across Chile, as well as revolutionising the way in which iconic wineries such as Montes plant and manage their vineyards. The winery is based in Maule, to the South of the main vineyard area, where the 'Fous' make an enviable range of top quality varietal wines.

The grapes (80% Malbec, 20% Carignan) are hand harvested and transported to the winery. Traditional fermentation took place in concrete vats. The wine is aged in French oak from the Allier forest, 30% of which is new. It spends almost two years ageing in oak and is not racked.

An incredible wine with ripe and rich fruit, boasting aromas of dark berries and mahogany. It is fulled bodied on the palate with ripe, well structured tannins and a long, intense finish.

£30.30

De Gras Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2017 (1x 75cl)

Brothers Hernán and Eduardo Gras, along with partner Cristián Hartwig gave life to the Mont Gras winery in 1993, combining state of the art technology with the talent and passion of a very special group of people. The De Gras “Star Man” reflects the magic, the sky and stars in the agricultural and winemaking cycles, giving life to wines that express the work done by the farmers who have close ties with the land.

Please click on the blue link below for the excellent, most recent fiche technique/technical note on this wine from the winemakers themselves.

De Gras Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2017 - fiche technique

£9.20
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