Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2021 edition expert review of South American Chardonnays (see blue link below for the review).
Matetic, EQ Quartz Chardonnay, San Antonio, 2017 - June 2021 Decanter review
Features as part of our whistle-stop tasting of four of the Highly Recommendeds from that review, click 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.
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 grapes for EQ Quartz Chardonnay come from a southerly hillside (with less sun exposure) of our selected Mercier clones and biodynamic management in the Rosario Valley. The vineyard soils have a granitic-sandy texture, with the hillsides having more clay than granite, and good porosity at depth. Each clonal selection (95, 76, and 130) expresses unique characteristics due to the different solar exposure of the fruit, with more tropical notes when the bunches are more exposed to the sun and mineral notes with excellent acidity when they are more protected within the canopy of the vines. The natural yields are close to 1.5 kg per plant, and together with the coastal influence, allow for a low ripening and great concentration of aromas and flavors in the must.
For more detail, especially on winemaking, see the blue link below for the technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Matetic, EQ Quartz Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique
This is a Chardonnay with a subtle yellow color. The nose presents aromas reminiscent of citrus and tropical fruits together with notes of honey and a delicate saline note, unique to our vineyard’s terroir. The wine is concentrated on the palate with good volume, fresh acidity, and a long, elegant finish.