Tag Archives: Colchagua

The Vincast Episode 079 – Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

Gilles Lapalus was “born in a barrel”, as wine is in his family in the Burgundy region of France. After working for many years in different roles he took a trip to the furthest place he could think of, Australia. It was here that he was not only introduced to the “new world” of wine, but also his partner. Gaining experience in South and North America, he pursued further projects in France and Italy before he was lured back to Australia and became the winemaker at Sutton Grange just outside Melbourne. During his tenure he introduced many elements to the brand, and also launched a vermouth to a thirsty Melbourne bar scene.

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Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

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The Vincast Episode 042 – Johannes Hasselbach from Weingut Gunderloch

Weingut Gunderloch in the Rheinhessen region of Germany is one the greatest wineries in Europe if you are in the know. They are the only winery in the world to have received 100 points for the same wine in three separate vintages, for their incredibly rare trockenbeerenauslese (TBA). Johannes Hasselbach hadn’t intended on running his family’s estate, until in 2010 when his father became ill (since recovered), and his sister who had been involved with the winemaking relocating to Austria to work with her husband. An intrepid philosophy led Johannes to travel and explore, and he has slowly began to introduce this into the winery since then. He joined me in the Treasury Gardens of Melbourne on a sunny morning to talk about his journey.

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Vintage 2012 - Day 23

Johannes Hasselbach from Weingut Gunderloch working hard in the vineyard

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Anakena – 12/12/2011

Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Leyda)
Lovely bright fresh style, clean crisp quite fruity, has some herb notes on nose, but not on palate.

Single Vineyard Viognier 2009 (Rapel Valley)
Nicely developed on the nose, picking up some spiced dried apricot and crushed herbs. Lovely textural richness, great development in the bottle.

Single Vineyard Riesling 2010 (Leyda)
Very clean and crisp, good acids and citric notes, lacks minerality and depth, no texture or residual sugar for weight.

Single Vineyard Carignan San javier 2010 (Maule)
Very closed nose, quite flat and broad, too hot for the variety, nor structure or depth.

Single Vineyard Syrah 2009 (Colchagua)
A bit chocolatey, slightly cooked dark plum, hints of spice, plummy juicy, lacks drive.

Ona Malbec 2009 (Rapel)
Good weight and depth, nice dark fruit broodiness, a little soft and broad, pretty good for the price.

Ona Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere Syrah 2009
Red fruit currants, intriguing blend, texture and mouthfeel, still lacking something.

Anakena wines

Anakena wines

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Viu Manent – 7/12/2011

Segreto Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Casablanca)
Combines herbaceousness and tropicality, juicy fig kiwi and guava, nice herb and spice, great varietal character.

Segreto Viognier 2011
Lighter colour and body, freshness of fruit, texture and a bit of volume, nice white florals.

Segreto Pinot Noir 2010 (Casablanca)
Nice dark sweet fruit, nice soft full yet light, dark fruits.

Segreto Carmenere 2010
Nice soft plump dark fruits, good length and balance, mellow yet structured, nice firm and supple tannins.

Segreto Malbec 2010
Spicier and brighter, more intense yet lighter.

Gran Reserva Malbec 2010
Perfect example of blending, powerful depth, velvety rich and structured, sumptuous and supple.

Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Bold tannins and structure, not heavy, great tannins, long living, age of vines impacts.

Single Vineyard Malbec 2010
Extremely intense, very fruity and youthful, still new-world exuberance.

Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lovely dusty earthy, full bodied yet dark, really beautiful juicy and dark, amazing depth and soft, generous tannins.

El Incidente Single Vineyard Carmenere 2009
Good structure but a little hot, intensity and balance, not enough vibrancy.

Viu Manent tasting room

Viu Manent tasting room

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Casa Lapostolle – 7/12/2011

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Rapel Valley)
Nice bright fresh clean, nice tropical notes with some pear and peach. No green notes, plenty of broadness, a little fruit sweet, warmish compared to NZ.

Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2008
Nice structured focus, good finesse and length, very unjammy.

Clos Apalta 2009
Dark floral lavender nose, very rich black intensity. Very concentrated, huge depth of fruit, big bold and oaky, much longevity.

Clos Apalta winery

Clos Apalta winery

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Emiliana – 5/12/2011

Adobe Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Nice tropical lime and coconut husk. Very tight crisp acidity, zesty bright and fresh, citrus and apples.

Adobe Gewurztraminer 2011 (Rapel Valley)
Very musky rose water turkish delight. Good viscosity and texture, not heavy but fresh and clean, good balance and liveliness.

Signos de Origen Chardonnay Viognier Marsanne Roussanne 2010
Coconut & lime milk, extremely bright. Very sharp and tight, fresh citrus apricot and spice, a tad acidic and disjointed.

Novas Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2010
Quite closed nose, fairly dark and intense, a tad dark and bruised, hard to pick out fruit.

Novas Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Colchagua)
Nice dark cranberry spice, incredibly well balanced, nice dark fruit and firm tannins.

Coyam Syrah Carmenere Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Mouvedre Petit Verdot 2009
Great depth of flavour and complexity, quite intense and young, very interesting blend, harmonious and hard to pick varieties.

Emiliana Coyam

Emiliana Coyam

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William Cole Chile – 5/12/2011

Mirador Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Lovely tropical passionfruit, bright aromatics with slight herb. Light pleasant fruit, not full or concentrated, a little too simple.

Colombine Special Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011
More fig skin and guava, more concentrated herb nose. Texture and mouthfeel, fuller richer weight, still not heavy, a bit of length, good drinking.

Bill Chardonnay 2008
A tad overwrought, interesting banana fritters, slight tropical pineapple. Texture without weight, a little butter and cream, good minerality and balance, nice length.

Colombine Pinot Noir 2010
Dark spicy cherry, nice earthiness and intrigue. Good balance and weight, lighter more silky style, little structure but good fruit spice characters, very clean finish.

Colombine Carmenere 2010 (Colchagua)
Great balance, juicy soft and full but well structured. Hints of spice and clove, great finish, not cloying or aggressive, generous weight and tannins.

William Cole wines

William Cole wines

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Errazuriz – 2/12/2011

Aconcagua Coast Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Lovely and juicy, tropical kiwi and guava. Fantastic balance and cleanliness, pure acids and surprising length for an unoaked style.

Arboleda Chardonnay 2010
Citrus peach apricot nose. Integrity of fruit and solid acid, pleasing finish with hints of leesy lemon curds.

Aconcagua Coast Pinot Noir 2010
Not quite right for the climate, soft and full but a tad dark and dirty.

Colchagua Carmenere 2009
Dusty spicy nose, slightly earthy currants, good vibrant black fruits, restraint and balance.

Aconcagua Syrah 2009
Bruised fruit, full and hot, either compromised or unsuited to the vineyard.

Aconcagua Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Very soft and mellow, juby juicy, good drinking. Not the best example of the variety, prefer Maipo, too hot here?

Errazuriz tasting

Errazuriz tasting

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Jaime Rosello – Managing Director Veramonte Wines & Neyen de Apalta, Chile

When I made the decision to take my 16 month wine odyssey I considered just travelling in Europe as the origin and bastian of wine in the world. However I thought it would be a good opportunity to visit North and South America to see what they were doing, as well as taking advantage of a round-the-world ticket. Little to any wine from these continents is imported into Australia because there isn’t much market for them. This is probably because the style and varieties are very similar to wines we make here and in New Zealand and therefore there isn’t much point importing them. As such I was very unfamiliar with regions and producers and had to do a lot of my own research. Information online was often hard to find and of those that I attempted to get in contact with, less than 50% responded to me at all.

Chile was particularly bad for this. Whilst every winery I found had generally great websites to visit and get information from, they seem to never read any emails sent to their general address! Or even worse they don’t bother replying at all. Amazingly when I sent an email to the general address for Neyen de Apalta – a modern icon of Chile in Colchagua – the email went directly to the Managing Director Jaime Rosello. In responding to me, Jaime was not only happy for me to visit Neyen, but he also informed me that he managed the Veramonte winery in Casablanca and I was welcome to visit him there beforehand. His generosity didn’t stop there as he proceeded to enquire where else I was going and contacting some of the many people he knows in the industry and helping make appointments on my behalf. One of the most genuine, humble and generous people I met on my trip, I sent him some questions recently so that I could know him better and here were his responses.

Jaime 3

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Now this is hospitality! (Colchagua Valley, Chile)

I tell you what, if it weren’t bad enough that Chilean wines are poised to bring the world to it’s knees, they are also poised to bring the world TO Chile, thanks to wine tourism. Whilst you can probably find some similar experiences in other countries, particularly in California where wine tourism is a billion dollar industry, there is nothing like the value of wine tourism here, and the sheer impact of the environment. Not to mention the fact that Chileans are genuinely warm and welcoming to others, whereas in most western countries hospitality is merely about tips and gloss. Hosts are knowledgeable, respectful, modest and engaging. At several times during my stay so far, and no more so than in Colchagua, did I say to myself “it doesn’t get better than this.”

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