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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)

Awarded a high 17 points (of 20) on Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages (www.JancisRobinson.comreviewer Alistair Cooper MW - in Feb 2020 (see blue link below).

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2015 - jancisrobinson.com May 2020 review

Awarded 86 points and Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2015 - October 2020 Decanter review

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 = 15.0%.

£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

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2019 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. ** 

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 retrospective of DWWA19 (see blue link below).

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2019 - October 2020 Decanter review

The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley – 100km north of the capital. Errazuriz’s philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine.” Vina Errazuriz believe in the concept of ‘terroir’ and strive to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua and Casablanca valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity.

Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic estate whilst maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Alongside him works winemaker Francsico Baettig who boasts an impressive wine industry CV prior to coming to Errazuriz. They are dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality and have built their reputation on this and as a result are one of Chile's leading family owned wine estates.

The grapes for the Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir are sourced from the Aconcagua Costa vineyard, located barely 7.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean. This vineyard was planted by Viña Errázuriz in 2005 and 2009. The climate is Mediterranean, acquiring cold weather conditions thanks to its proximity to the sea. The soil has a thin layer of loamy texture and placed on a base of clay and metamorphic rock (slate/schist), providing the mineral notes present in the wines that are grown in these vineyards.

The 2019 vintage in Aconcagua Costa was slightly warm due to the spring period, which scored a higher than average heat summation. Nevertheless, months that preceded the harvest were slightly cooler than the historically recorded, with lower temperatures in February and March that allowed a slow and gentle ripeness, along with outstandingly healthy grapes.

Grapes were handpicked between February 26th and February 28th, double sorted, 85% destemmed and crushed, then placed in open top stainless-steel tanks (15% whole clusters). Before starting the fermentation process, the grapes underwent a 3 to 5 days cold soak at 8°C. Fermentation was carried out with native yeasts only, by which the wine develops complex and distinctive aromas and flavours. Total skins contact, including post fermentation maceration was 12 to 20 days. Final blend is aged for 13 months in French oak barrels, 15% new.

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

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2019 - fiche technique

100% Pinot Noir.

Limpid ruby red color with beautiful violets flashes. On the nose, this Pinot Noir is very intense, showing red fruits as raspberries, accompanied by floral notes that remind of rosehip, all framed by spices and a smoky note. The palate is dominated by fresh red fruits and floral notes with soft balsamic touches. It has great structure, tension and freshness, with polish and round tannins that make it a very attractive wine, easy to drink.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£15.45

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Syrah 2017 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Syrah 2017 - October 2020 Decanter review

The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley - 100 km north of the Chilean capital. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world class vineyard.

Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant, Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic Estate whilst maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality, Errazuriz has built a reputation as the 'Premier Family Wine Estate of Chile'.

Errazuriz's philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, "from the best land, the best wine." Vina Errazuriz believe in the concept of terroir and strive to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua and Casablanca valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity.

The Errazuriz Winery was established in 1870 when the founder Don Maximiano Errazuriz first brought vines to the area. The beautiful original 1870 building still stands with the spectacular underground cellars still being used. Two brand new winery buildings were completed in 2010; one for Max Reserva wines and one for thef lagship wines. The Don Maximiano Icon Winery is an architecturally stunning masterpiece with oak fermenters and environmentally friendly ground-source heating/cooling. Sitting alongside the original 1870 building, these new developments show the importance of respecting our heritage whilst having a clear vision for the future. Both were showcased by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson in the 7th Edition of The World Atlas of Wine as benchmark examples of a state-of-the-art modern winery. In October 2017, Errazuriz became Chile’s first recipient of the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Award for Best Chilean Winery 2017.

The grapes for the Aconcagua Costa Syrah are sourced from the Aconcagua Costa vineyard, located 12 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean. Planted by Viña Errázuriz in 2005 and 2009, the soil is composed by a thin layer of loamy texture and placed on a base of clay and metamorphic rock (slate/schist), providing the mineral notes present in the wines that are grown in these vineyards.

After a winter of historical records in terms of temperatures and rainfall, temperate and dry conditions followed during the months of August and September. As spring and summer unfolded, we experienced dry conditions, as well as constantly warm temperatures, especially during November and January, which created ideal circumstances for optimal flowering, fruit set and veraison, in addition to a harvest in excellent sanitary conditions. March brought relief to the usually warm summer temperatures, allowing the grapes to continue a gentle ripeness process, preserving their acidity and freshness.

Grapes were hand-picked between March 11th and March 28th, and carefully transported to the winery in small boxes of 15 kilos approximately, to avoid damaging the grapes. Once there, they were carefully inspected, crushed and deposited in stainless steel tanks, where they went under alcoholic fermentation with native yeasts. The total maceration time (in contact with the skins) was between 8 to 20 days; 10% whole clusters. During 14 months, 10% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels, while 75% was aged in French oak barrels of second and third use. The remaning 15% was aged in foudres.

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

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Syrah 2017 - fiche technique

100% Syrah. 

The 2017 vintage of Aconcagua Costa Syrah displays a bright, intense, deep ruby red color with violet hues. The nose reveals pink pepper, blueberries, fresh raspberries, with hints of dill and incense, while the palate has soft hints of incense and a spicy profile, framed by notes of fresh black fruit. A wine with soft and elegant tannins, whose entrance stands out with a refreshing acidity, showing nerve and juiciness. A linear and deep wine with very fine grained tannins.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£15.60

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah (Shiraz) 2016 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah 2016 - October 2020 Decanter review

The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley - 100 km north of the Chilean capital. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world class vineyard.

Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant, Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic Estate whilst maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality, Errazuriz has built a reputation as the 'Premier Family Wine Estate of Chile'.

Errazuriz's philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, "from the best land, the best wine." Vina Errazuriz believe in the concept of terroir and strive to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua and Casablanca valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity.

The Errazuriz Winery was established in 1870 when the founder Don Maximiano Errazuriz first brought vines to the area. The beautiful original 1870 building still stands with the spectacular underground cellars still being used. Two brand new winery buildings were completed in 2010; one for Max Reserva wines and one for thef lagship wines. The Don Maximiano Icon Winery is an architecturally stunning masterpiece with oak fermenters and environmentally friendly ground-source heating/cooling. Sitting alongside the original 1870 building, these new developments show the importance of respecting our heritage whilst having a clear vision for the future. Both were showcased by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson in the 7th Edition of The World Atlas of Wine as benchmark examples of a state-of-the-art modern winery. In October 2017, Errazuriz became Chile’s first recipient of the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Award for Best Chilean Winery 2017.

The grapes for Max Shiraz primarily come from Max vineyards in the Aconcagua Valley. Located in the interior of the valley, the vineyard soils have a predominantly silty texture and are of colluvial origin. The special conditions of nutrition and drainage of the diverse soils help control plant vigor, producing balanced fruit loads with small bunches and berries.

The challenging vintage of 2016 performed different scenarios through the season, with a cool spring and a warmer than average summer. A rainy and cool October was followed by pleasant spring days in November, promoting a healthy flowering and fruit set. At the beginning of the summer temperatures gradually increased, reaching during January temperatures higher than the historical averages. February was warm, with oncoming sunny weather interspersed with cool morning fog, prevailing through to the end of the growing season. All of this conditions delivered wines of outstanding vivacity and character.

The grapes were handpicked early in the morning and inspectedon a double selection table, crushed, and desposited into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Maceration period ranged from 12 to 25 days. The wine was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 25% of which were new.

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

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah 2016 - fiche technique

100% Syrah. 

Beautiful and bright ruby red with violet highlights. The wine shows aromas of red fruits such as raspberries, cherries accompanied by notes that remind of blueberry tart, along with a hint of tobacco and black pepper. In the palate it feels fresh and juicy, with a medium to long persistence, fine tannins and a pleasant sensation that surrounds the palate.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£12.35

Errazuriz, Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK BUT IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 98 points and Exceptional status by Decanter in their October 2018 article Top Pinot Noir wines outside Burgundy (see previous link for full article, link below for review on just this wine)

Errazuriz, Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2016  - October 2018 Decanter review.

"The mineral, stone, slate and violet aromas are superb. Full body, dense and silky texture. So much beautiful fruit yet it's so reserved and refined. Layered and complete. Fantastic acidity at the finish. Iron, iodine and oyster. Long finish. Superb follow up to the 2015. Drink or hold. 99 points." James Suckling, www.JamesSuckling.com, May 2017.

___

The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley - 100 km north of the Chilean capital. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world class vineyard.

Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant, Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic Estate whilst maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality, Errazuriz has built a reputation as the 'Premier Family Wine Estate of Chile'.

Errazuriz's philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, "from the best land, the best wine." Vina Errazuriz believe in the concept of terroir and strive to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua and Casablanca valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity.

The Errazuriz Winery was established in 1870 when the founder Don Maximiano Errazuriz first brought vines to the area. The beautiful original 1870 building still stands with the spectacular underground cellars still being used. Two brand new winery buildings were completed in 2010; one for Max Reserva wines and one for thef lagship wines. The Don Maximiano Icon Winery is an architecturally stunning masterpiece with oak fermenters and environmentally friendly ground-source heating/cooling. Sitting alongside the original 1870 building, these new developments show the importance of respecting our heritage whilst having a clear vision for the future. Both were showcased by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson in the 7th Edition of The World Atlas of Wine as benchmark examples of a state-of-the-art modern winery. In October 2017, Errazuriz became Chile’s first recipient of the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Award for Best Chilean Winery 2017.

With the Las Pizarras wines specifically (see also the superb Chardonnay), the dream was to create unique wines that could stand out alongside world class wines, aspiring to showcase the potential of Aconcagua Costa through terroir-specific wines. The name comes from the high percentage of metamorphic rock, slate (Spanish: pizarras) found in the property. With a grand cru philosophy, years of knowledge and mapping the vineyard revealed specifics blocks (see link below) to produce the most complete and complex Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

For more details, see the blue links below: the first regarding vintage and winemaking, and the second regarding land and terroir.

Errazuriz Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2016 - data sheet

Errazuriz Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2016 - land and vineyards

100% Pinot Noir.

"Of a cherry red color, it has beautiful violet hues. Complex nose, with reminiscent of rosehip, myrtle, sour cherries and a refreshing bergamot hint, accompanied by soft notes of marzipan and dried fruit notes. Equally complex and consistent with what is perceived in the nose, the palate is predominantly marked by fresh red fruit, floral notes, with some subtle notes of moist soil, citrus fruits, sweet spice and brioche. Very well structured, with fine and elegant tannins that deliver a chalky finish. A wine that displays a balance between amplitude and length very well achieved that allows to talk about power and elegance in a harmonious and persistent outcome.” FRANCISCO BAETTIG, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£69.95

Matetic Corralillo Carmenere 2018 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK THURS 17th SEPTEMBER **

The 2016 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their April 2019 panel tasting of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).

Matetic Corralillo Carmènere 2016 - April 2019 Decanter review

That 2016 vintage was also awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 tasting/article of/on Top 30 Chilean Wines Under £25 (see blue link below).

Matetic Corralillo Carmenere 2016 - June 2019 Decanter review

See also our blog (= click this link) on that April review in detail and for more information on this wine and Carmenère in general.

"Ah", you may well say, "but is this 2018 as good as the 2016?"

 

To that end, see our video tasting here.

The Matetic family has a history of settling in new territory and making a success of agriculture. In 1892, the current members’ ancestors made the long journey by sea from the Croatian coast to Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile. They soon acquired large haciendas for sheep and dairy farming. It was only in 1999 that the fourth generation of Chilean Matetic made the move into winemaking.

After a detailed study of the terroir, Jorge Matetic Hartard and his relatives decided to plant vineyards in a previously overlooked side valley of the San Antonio appellation - Rosario. Just 15km from the Pacific Ocean, the rolling hills of Rosario Valley benefits from cooling sea breezes and huge swings in temperature - from as much as 27 deg C in the afternoon to 7 deg C at night. Well drained, quartz-sandy soil requires vines to dig their roots deep into the ground (up to four metres) to find water and nutrients, making for low yields and high-quality fruit.

With the additional purchase in 2005 of vineyards in Casablanca Valley, the Matetic vineyard has a phenomenal range of grape varieties planted - Matetic Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carménère, Malbec - but they made their mark early on with the first cold-climate Syrah in 2001.

The Corralillo label is a nod to an old winery on a corral which had once produced wines from the native País grape. These wines - Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère and the Winemakers Blend (Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc) express this frontier-pushing terroir with great individuality and draw from plots in Maipo, near Santiago, and Colchagua further south, as well as San Antonio.

Biodynamic viticulture one of the key eco-friendly practices the Matetic Vineyard follows in its winemaking - it is certified organic and sustainable as well as biodynamic. Regarding the Rosario Valley as a single organism, the team works hard to maintain the health of the ground (using Rudolf Steiner’s preparations of quartz, manure, herbs etc in cow horns but only using indigenous materials), the crops and the varied animal life in the ecosystem. Grape pomace is added to compost from the restaurant to be reused in the Matetic vineyards, as is water which has been used to clean barrels. And in human terms, local people make up the majority of staff, and the winery sells woollen and other craft goods made by artisans nearby. It’s all part of a philosophy that aims to make winemaking a venture which will benefit the family and its neighbours for generations to come.

The 2018 Corralillo Carmenere is sourced from the sub-valley of Colchagua Valley, Apalta. The vineyards are located on slopes that receive great sun exposure. The soil's parent material is highly mixed - dominantly colluvial and of granitic origin - but very complex due to the presence of clays, lime and organic matter. These solils have have low fertility - perfect for viticulture - and excellent drainage.

For more detail, especially on winemaking, see the blue link below for the technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Matetic Corralillo Carmenere 2018 - fiche technique

95%+ Carmenere, <5% Syrah.

Deep dark violet color with red hues. Very intense on the nose, with a blend of black fruits, cocoa, spices and a piquant hint that characterize this grape variety. On the palate the wine shows great balance between weight and freshness, with a long, lingering finish developing to great volume and structure. An ideal companion for mature cheeses, red meat, charcuterie etc. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£16.50

Montes Outer Limits Zapallar Syrah 2017 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Montes Outer Limits Zapallar Syrah 2017 - October 2020 Decanter review

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 Zapallar vineyards are truly coastal, being just 7 kilometres away from the Pacific Ocean, an ideal location for the growth and development of varieties such as Syrah. Montes’ 45 hectares are the only vineyards planted in this area, situated at an altitude of 120 – 150 meters above sea level. The clay-loam, granitic soil provides moderate drainage and gives rise to intense, aromatic wines, exceptionally balanced with body, flavour, and ripe tannins. Zapallar is without doubt an “Outer Limits” terroir, with an extreme climate for winegrowing which has put Montes’ winemaking abilities to the test.

The 2017 vintage was characterised by favourable weather conditions – little rainfall and plenty of sunshine. This meant grapes needed little viticultural intervention to help ripen evenly and without risk of disease. Good weather continued well into the growing season and as harvest approached, temperatures dropped slowly, allowing fruit to retain acidity and develop aromatic complexity. This vintage has delivered fruit of exceptional quality, displaying a level of balanced ripeness not seen in recent vintages.

The grapes were hand-picked early in the morning to preserve freshness and fruit purity. They were then hand sorted at the winery before undergoing a temperature-controlled five day cold maceration at 6-8°C on the skins to extract colour and aroma. The must was then slowly brought up to 26-28°C and inoculated with specially selected yeasts. Fermentation followed taking 10 days to complete. The wine then remained on its skins for a further five days to ensure good colour and tannin extraction. 65% of the wine was then racked off into a concrete egg, which allows continuous contact with the lees. The other 35% was racked off to second-use French oak barrels and aged for 12 months. After ageing, these two portions were blended together and lightly filtered to retain the full character of the wine.

100% Syrah.

This wine is deep ruby red in colour with violet tones. The fruity nose recalls ripe black and red berries with notes of smoke, Serrano ham and coffee. The palate is vibrant and well balanced with very smooth tannins and remarkable structure and volume.

ABV = 14.5%.

£20.15

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 = 14.0%.

£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

Undurraga, TH Cabernet Franc, Maipo 2015 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 expert review of South American Cabernet Franc (see blue link below).

Undurraga, TH Cabernet Franc, Maipo 2015 - October 2020 Decanter review

Undurraga is one of Chile’s most prestigious wineries, consistently receiving high scores from top wine critics. Founded in 1885, Undurraga owns 1,350 hectares of estate vineyard in Chile’s premium wine-producing areas such as Leyda, Cauquenes and Itata. Head winemaker Rafael Urrejola has spent a great deal of time understanding the diversity of Chile’s vineyard sites; the result is the emblematic ‘Terroir Hunter’ (ie TH). Undurraga cultivates their vineyards with respect for the environment and follow a philosophy of minimal intervention in the cellar in order to showcase the terroir.

The Cabernet Franc grapes were sourced from a selected vineyard planted exclusively for this range in Catemito, in the Valle de Maipo. The daily temperatures during the summer are lower in this area than in the rest of the Valle de Maipo, decreasing substantially in March and April, providing the ideal conditions for the tannins to ripen completely and to ensure that the fresh aromas and flavours are preserved. Catemito is located on an alluvial terrace which was formed in the Holocene period, approximately 10,000 years ago. The soil has a mixed sandy-clayey texture and a high presence of gravel, which results in good drainage and subsequently in balanced vigour and yields. The vines are 12 years old and planted on their own rootstocks. This low-yielding terroir of 2.25 hectares was subjected to a controlled limited water supply during the ripening process and the resulting yield was 1.5 kg per vine, providing the necessary concentration for a rich, ripe wine.

The grapes were de-stemmed and carefully sorted to ensure only healthy, ripe fruit was crushed. The grapes were transferred by gravity into the vat, where they underwent pre-fermentation cold maceration under anaerobic conditions for five days at 6 to 8°C. Fermentation took place with natural yeasts at 27 to 28°C for 13 days with three daily pump-overs. The wine was left over its lees and skins for an additional 12 days to further enhance its structure. It was aged for 16 months in French oak barrels.. The floral, well-structured Cabernet Franc is gently softened by a touch of Merlot.

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc 85%, Merlot 15%.

A mature wine with intense black fruit aromas complemented by hints of cedar, spice and floral touches of violets. Firm, mature tannins surround a fresh, textured palate with harmonious balance. Serve with game, grilled red meats or cheese.

ABV = 14.0%. 

£17.85
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