The grapes collected for this wine grows on the pacific hillside in the Casablanca valley, Chile, 100 km north-west of the capital Santiago. The breeze from the sea renders a preferable long ripening cycle with good balance of fruit, tannins and acidity. 40% of the juice is raised in french new oak for 6 months. It is a family business and the wine maker is the son of Thierry Villard, Jean-Charles.
Interesting nose of rowan berries, cranberries, chalky gravel dust and dog rose. On the palate, earthy, ripe and creamy strawberries, notes of apricot and cranberries. It has some complexity, but its balance, pliancy and generous fruit is what stands out. It is very good wine made with finesse, especially considering its remarkably low price tag and certainly something special. (Tasted 4/2-2017)
This time we are definitely outside of our comfort zone, but every time we are and we taste a wine we enjoy, we learn something new and at best we enjoy a new, unique terroir in the world of wine. Today we just stumbled upon something that just happened to be apparently one of the oldest wineries in Chile that leans towards tradition but also as it seems keen on new techniques as well. The firm was established by the Italian Pietro De Martino Pascualone in 1934 in Maipo, Chile.
They prefer amphora vats and as is the case among many producers in Priorat, and more so in Sicily, they are dedicated to true terroir, i.e. affecting the wine at a bare minimum that is a current trend across the globe. Furthermore, they employ a week’s long cold soak and a 40 days extraction on the skins.
The vineyard, Las Cruces, is located in the Coastal Range, in the area of Pichidegua. It was planted in 1957 and it is a field blend of 75% Malbec and 25% Carmenere. It features granite soils and clay. We read that this is 140 km south of Santiago. The wine makers are Marcelo Retamal och Eduardo Jordan.
Obvious deep purple core with pink edges.
Obvious chewing tobacco, broken granite stone, bay leaves and after some hefty airing, a lovely perfume too.
Immediately reminds me of a combo of Cornas and Priorat at the same time! Dark fruit with thick skins are framed by tiny complex minerals and fleshy tannins. It is generously long and voluptuous, but just lacks some precision. A sappy, fruity wine framed by soft, fleshy and thick tannins. Tasted on 2/11-2016.