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.
Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Very bright and fresh, green kiwi. Quite rich volume and weight, very textural and warm spice, developing in the glass, waves of texture and cream notes.
Creamy citrus approaching pisco sour, rich nose, minimal oak. Nice minerality crispness, some texture without weight, length and balance, almonds and vanilla.
Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Crushed herbs and ginger, richer fatter tropical shellfish. Wild rich nutty texture, walnuts amazing length, full citric lemon curds, astonishingly good food wine.
Pinot Noir 2009
Earthy slightly spicy dark cherry pomegranate. Great volume and depth, quite warm, fruit character difficult to articulate, full robust yet soft tannins, fairly juicy.
Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Casablanca Valley)
Lovely and herbaceous, nice concentration of fruit, very light and fresh, grapefruit and kumquat citrus.
Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2009 (Leyda Valley)
Rich and creamy, melons and peach. Textured, full, some sweet oak characters, fairly heavy malo character on the nose.
Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Maipo Valley)
Dark brooding cassis, nice toffee chocolate. Good texture and structure, very velvety tannins, sweet ripe spot and clean finish.
Triple C 2006 (Maipo Valley)
Earthy savoury aromas, leather and coffee. Intense and bright but softens on the palate, good chewy astringency, awesome finish.
Triple C 2007 (Maipo Valley)
Slightly leaner tighter lines, cigar box notes, good length, very young and a touch warm, fruit needs time to express.
Phuen 2007 (Apalta)
Hauntingly complex, totally unexpected, lovely dark and rich, balance and depth, best Chilean wine so far.
Santa Rita tasting
A common question posed to me before I left Australia (granted by non-industry folks), was “15 months of wine tasting? Won’t you be sick of wine at the end of it?” My response is what many who work with wine would be. “Not a chance. When you are working with wine you are tasting all the time, and as every wine is different there is always a new experience to be had.” This is even more true in my case, as I am actually going to the source. Thus, just like every wine is different, every region, vineyard, winery, winemaker, and experience are different. Visiting the regions in Chile, without any expectations or preconceived notions, has been eye-opening to say the least. They are truly blessed with a wide variety of climates and soil types, and the rest of the world should keep an eye on Chile. As they gain more experience and come to terms with their unique terroir, the wines will just get better and better. The San Antonio & Leyda region is not dissimilar to Casablanca to the North, in terms of its proximity to the coast and focus on white varieties. The difference in climate although subtle is very noticeable; it is much cooler here than in Casablanca. This difference has a profound effect on the wines, particularly the sauvignon blancs, arguably the most important variety in both regions. Leyda was opened up fairly recently, by the introduction of a pipeline that would carry water from the Maipo River to provide necessary irrigation. The region has grown quickly, and is now at capacity, as any new plantings would require another water source. This is probably why there are about 10 times more vineyard hectares planted in Casablanca which has better access to water.