Because they represent excellent value for money, the wines of Chile have always featured strongly on our list. The vineyards lie in a narrow 1400 km. band, for the most part in the Central Valley between the Andes and the Coastal Range. The desire to grow cooler-climate grape varieties has led to recent planting further south and along the coast where the cold Humboldt current gives more favourable temperatures. Water for irrigation is available from the Andes (though in some regions such as the Casablanca Valley excessive demand has led to restricted supplies) and the absence of phylloxera has meant that there is no need to graft the vines.
The expressive nose gives a fresh fruit made of wild strawberries, red and black currants with herbal notes. Everything is surrounded by graphite and stony notes, soft spices coming from the barrels and touches of smoky brown tobacco. The mouth provides a good volume from the beginning, with a lot of roundness and a great balance between structure and texture.
Deep and bright gold yellow The nose is expressive but not heavy : peaches, custard apples and a slight touch of limeade here, just above some floral notes of jasmine and a typical mineral hint. Discreet touches of creamy vanilla and bread crust are added by the soft barrel aging. The mouth, still young, also shows this aging through a straight structure that allows a good balance with the natural fleshy texture. Lush but fresh, the wine offers a mineral finish with floral accents and yellow fruits.
A brilliant and pure pale gold yellow introduces an expressive but elegant nose of sheer chardonnay personality: ripe apples, white flowers, citrus like lemons and fine tangerines enhanced by touches of butter, honey, hazelnuts and fine spices coming from the most elegant French oak aging.
Fresh and complex, such as the nose, the palate shows a juicy body and a lot of precision. The balance is all about structure and overwhelming texture with a crucial acidity in between that seems to give wings to the natural concentration. The rich, long and vibrant finish is made of white fruits such as pears and apples with dried fruits and a mineral, aniseed touch, well completed by subtle fine spices.
As unique as ever, this 2013 single vineyard presents a deep and bright pale gold yellow with a nose where complexity is the key word. First mineral (chalk and stones) with dried herbs, the main profile appears as being straight with a touch of austerity. Then come gooseberries, green apples and white peaches, a zest of lime with box and broom flowers. A slight exotic starfruit and passion fruit note also rises, blended with discreet sweet spices.
Through its freshness, the nose expresses elegant aromas of apples, pears, lemons with tangerines hints layered by mineral tones. Floral honey and subtle English cream are also present with a buttery whisper beside the soft oak complexity. The mouth offers an excellent balance between the generosity of its texture and its fresh and mineral origins. Deep and structured, the wine gets a good density and roundness at mid-palate after its sharp attack, and finely ends with a complex finish where fruits are enhanced by mineral accents.
Oriental spices and meaty notes appear first at the nose but the true personality is coming with flowers and stony notes. The fruit is made of fresh strawberries, blackberries and small wild berries with pink pepper and soft vanilla hints. The palate starts clear and fresh and goes on to offer its energic and juicy texture. The whole body shows a good depth thanks to a frame of small and tight tannins along with an integrated acidity.
The variety is a reference and a perfect example of the actual debate between warm and cool climate. The mouth is a true mirror of the aromatic fan, but still very young nowadays and will ask more time to fully express itself. However, the balance is already well present trough a rich, dense and juicy texture, armed by a deep and precise frame of small fine tannins giving depth and strength.