Showing posts with label Casablanca Valley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Casablanca Valley. Show all posts

Monday, November 1, 2021

Chilean Wine - Ritual Pinot Noir

Ritual Wines is located in the far eastern end of Chile's Casablanca Valley, around the midpoint of that long strip of a country along South America's western edge.  The coastal mountain range gives a dramatic backdrop to the vineyards, which are cooled by the breezes from the Pacific Ocean.  Pinot Noir grapes are grown in the coolest parts of the vineyards.

The 2017 Ritual Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir sat for 11 months in French oak barrels, watched over by winemaker Sofia Araya, who allowed an alcohol level of 13.5% abv.  Retail is $19.

When I tried the 2015 vintage a couple of years ago, I noted that the nose was savory and funky, with tea leaves and coffee grounds.  The palate was a walk on the dark side, too - full and wild and raw.

The 2017 has a medium ruby tint to it.  The tea and coffee notes are still there on the nose, but not as strongly.  It is savory, but not funky this time around.  The black raspberry fruit has a chance to shine.  The palate is dark and a bit brawny, with enough tannins for pot roast or pork chops.  The wine finishes long and savory, with that dark fruit trailing at the end.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

A Pair of Organic Wines From Chile

Veramonte Winery is located in Chile's Casablanca Valley, but over the years they have expanded with vineyards also in the Colchagua Valley.  Casablanca is a great locale for white wines and cool-climate reds, while the Colchagua Valley is warmer.  The winery follows organic practices and has a certification stating so.  Their importer, Gonzalez Byass, says Veramonte's farming is free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizer.  The feeling among the Veramonte staff is that living, balanced soil makes quality grapes.

Veramonte Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2020 

This organic wine was made from Casablanca Valley grapes.  They were pressed into steel tanks where vinification took place.  The juice was separated from the lees during this process.  The vintage wasn’t easy, owing to a hot summer and a dry winter.  It is all Sauvignon Blanc, with a 13.5% abv alcohol level and a retail price of $12.

This wine has a New World feel to it, to be sure.  The nose is a little bit herbal, a little bit floral and a little bit grapefruity.  On the palate, the citrus aspect takes center stage, with a spicy element and a racy acidity.  Grapefruit lingers on the finish.  Pairing this wine with salads and shellfish is a natural, but it could certainly stand up to a piece of baked chicken.


Veramonte Organic Cabernet Sauvignon
2018,

The winery says that the 2018 vintage in the Colchagua Valley was "exceptional," with a rainy winter and a moderate summer.  The 2018 Organic Cabernet Sauvignon is a 100% varietal wine.  It was vinified in steel tanks, then aged for eight months in neutral oak barrels.  Alcohol content is 14% abv and the retail price is only $12, a steal for a wine this fresh and juicy.

This wine is ripe and beautiful - dark, with a nose of blackberries, cassis and violets.  There is a hint of tobacco and spice there as well, a tribute to the perfectly finessed aging.  The palate explodes on the tongue with dark fruit, vanilla and herbs.  The fruit is the story, but don't sell complexity short.  It offers a lot to ruminate on while you sip.  


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