Recently I interviewed both halves of Cultivar Vinos on Episode 137 of The Vincast wine podcast – Lucy Kendall and Alice L’Estrange – and some time ago Alice gave me some bottles they have imported from Chile. Here are my notes on the wines I tasted over a few weeks. Continue reading
Tag Archives: South America
Alice L’Estrange is undoubtedly a lover of culture and language, so it is unsurprising that she got into wines from Chile. While spending a year living in Mexico improving her Spanish, she gained an appreciation for the purity of farming and natural agricultural produce, but it was her friend Lucy who introduced her to wine. After a fateful evening and a fateful bottle, they decided to do something wine-related, and Cultivar Vinos was that something.
Subscribe to the Intrepid Wino channel on YouTube and watch a few videos!
It was the lure of the exotic that brought Amanda Barnes – a journalist and writer from Hampshire, England – to South America. Surprisingly it wasn’t until she arrived in Argentina that she discovered a passion for wine and food, and was particularly seduced by the Mendoza region. As she discovered Chile and other parts of the continent, she carved a niche in writing about food, wine and travel in Latin America. Now she is embarking on a journey of truly epic proportions, attempting to visit 42 wine-producing countries during their vintages in the space of two years. Every step will be chronicled and communicated extensively, with the idea of subscribers joining the odyssey through a number of different media. On this episode of The Vincast Amanda talks about how she became such an authority of the wines of South America, and how she conceived of this ambitious concept to travel Around the World in 80 Harvests.
Subscribe to the Intrepid Wino channel on YouTube and watch a few videos!
Colome Torrontes 2011, Salta Argentina
Extremely pretty floral notes, honeysuckle blossom, musky gewürztraminer style, classic aromatics for the variety. Volumous warmth and fruit intensity, mostly on the front palate, dense minerality, nice clean pure expression.
Trumpeter ‘Reserve’ Torrontes 2009, Mendoza Argentina
Slightly more muted darker dried fruit aromas, more struck flint. Less interesting but more carry through on the palate, quite neutral safe wine without much life, but consistent.
Bouza Albarino 2012, Canalones & Montevideo Uruguay
Interesting and inviting, sweet floral honey, generous but not bright and mineralic like those from Rias Baixas. Intense full bold apricot peach, good balance and integrity, broad yet focused, full expression.
Vina Ventisquero Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Casablanca Valley Chile
Grassy fig skin and asparagus. Intense bright and fresh yet simple, crisp dry and friendly, not enough fruit ripeness.
Chacra Pinot Noir 2010, Rio Negro Argentina
Dusty chocolatey black cherries, carob and crushed raspberry. Bold and intense but light dry and balanced, lacking focus but not drive, nice gentle but firm tannins.
Vina Ventisquero Pinot Noir Reserva 2011, Casablanca Valley Chile
Pulverised earthy grainy blackberries, overworked and grainy. Lacking fruit plumpness and sweetness for the amount of maceration and oak.
Carrau Ysern Tannat 2007, Montevideo Uruguay
Dirty funky stinky dark plum earth fruits. Tannins build on the palate, bold fruit juicy intense but surprisingly fresh dark fruits. Warm to be certain but balanced.
De Martino ‘347’ Carmenere Reserva 2011, Maipo Cachapoal & Maule Chile
Very green and herbal olive notes. Slightly cooked maderised notes, dense earthy spicy complex, herbal yet savoury red fruits, unique.
Vina Ventisquero Quelat Carmenere 2010, Maipo Chile
A little flat and dull, earthy. Hot and a little heavy, a bit too oaky lacking elegance.
JED Malbec 2012, Uco Valley Argentina
Very bright and intense. Wonderful core of sweet juicy dark fruit, ripe bold velvety and intense, excellent varietal character.
Vina Ventisquero ‘Quelat’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Maipo Chile
Juicy juby blackcurrant, intense yet fresh, hot out of balance a little. Nice clean finish, dusty and fairly typical soft wine.
Vinicola Miolo ‘Gran Lovara’ Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Tannat 2005, Serra Gaucha Brazil
Quite strange, wild rustic oxidised. Flat bland flabby overworked crap.
Errazuriz ‘Max Reserve’ Carmenere 2010, Aconcagua Chile
Dusty earthy bright black fruit plums. Juicy soft yet structured, bright intense yet not heavy. Classic modern Chilean carmenere.
Rutini Malbec 2009, Mendoza Argentina
VERY interesting. Soft subtle savoury generous haunting elegant restrained.
Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2011, Mendoza Argentina
A little toasty hot and extractive, balanced full structured character, not too hot, still bright.
Vinedo de los Vientos Tanna 2008, Canelones Uruguay
Big blousy bright dark fruits. Tannic grippy a little hot and intense, alcohol blown off, intense a little cooked.
Vinedo de los Vientos ‘Alcyone’ Tannat Reserve 2007, Canelones Uruguay
Like chocolate port.
Clean rich fruity nose, nice texture of fruit, very bright and tropical.
Fruity dark berries and cream, richer and warmer style, quite textural but out of balance.
Smoky cooked fruit, oaky dominance and hidden fruit, broad and heavy yet soft, achieves balance somehow, big and bold.
Torrontes Tardio 2010
Floral citrus aromas, good freshness, very spicy, not heavy or cloying.
Privado Torrontes 2011
Nice floral fresh gewurztraminer style apricot blossom and pear notes. Great acidity and freshness on palate, a bit of texture, really approachable and clean.
Reserve Torrontes 2011
Tighter more delicate nose, hints of parmesan, texture and volume, richer and more vibrant, great length, balance and warmth.
Gran Linaje Torrontes 2010
More delicate honeyed nose, very full volume richness, rosemary, ebbs and flows on the palate, fuller texture.
Reserve Malbec 2010
Dense and full juicy dark fruit, very fruit-sweet and soft vanilla tannins. Plump and approachable.
Arnaldo B 2008
Good structure and weight, balance of fruit and savoury sweetness. Sweet and sour pork ribs, elegance and complexity, still reasonably simple.
2010 Malbec San Osidro – 1700 m
Different to Mendoza, less plum and more berry fruits, more intense and less floral. Soft yet concentrated, cured meat and cheese texture, great acid fruit balance.
2020 Malbec Colome – 2300 m
Darker more grapey and pruney, richer darker texture, softer yet fuller, acids more integrated, somehow more vibrant.
2010 El Arenal Malbec – 2600 m
Even darker in colour, dustier earthier dark fruits, very elegant subtle nose. Not as intense on the palate, much more complex and generally better than Mendoza.
2010 Syrah Colome – 2200 m
Nice dark fruit but some interesting shell-fish aromas. Different kind of freshness and balance, very different kind of syrah.
Catena Chardonnay 2010
Very bright vibrant citrus and melons. Clean fresh and bright, tiny amount of oak influence, hints of texture and weight, friendly yet fresh and dry.
Catena Alta Chardonnay 2009
Creamier lees derived notes, richer and fuller, excellent balance and freshness. Texture and elegance, good structure and acids, peach orange notes, builds on the palate.
Catena Malbec 2009
Nice and soft, plump and fresh, good balance and tannins. Length and a bit of texture, acids quite good, a little savoury.
Catena Alta Malbec 2008
Earthy savoury, much more depth and development of fruit. Great balance and texture, not jammy or over-ripe.
Nicolas Catena Zapata 2007
Vibrant intense nose, good but great? Good complexity but lacks subtlety and depth, has some velvety characters, new oak gets in the way a bit.
Gala 3 2009
Mango, honey, rich ripe fruity tropical paw paw and guava. Textured and rich, acids but quite hollow, not very well balanced.
De Sangre 2009
Very floral lavender aromatics. Good texture and subtlety of fruit although dried in nature, some complexity on the back, acids quite pronounced.
Finca los Nobles Cabernet Bouchet (Franc) 2006
Rich ripe blackcurrant, very juicy and bomby, no green or earth notes, soft full and weighty, hot and jammy.
Seleccion de Granos Nobles Gewurztraminer 2009
Quiet aromatically, small white florals, glazed lime. Textural sweetness well balanced, length and density, acids add vibrancy.
Malbec D.O.C. 2008
Nice dark fruit spice and earthy lavender. Intensity without weight, achieves good balance of all components.
B Crux Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Floral grassy kiwi and apple, grapefruit and passionfruit. Lovely and light freshness, crisp fruit acid, straightforward and clean, a touch of length and texture.
B Crux Blend 2007
Bright and fresh for its age, full intense yet not heavy, concentrated red fruits, has a Spanish flair to it, great balance and texture.
Alpha Crux 2003
Fruit retention, black olives and capers, benefiting from age. Lovely softness and length, structure and acids, savoury.
Alpha Crux Malbec 2008
Interesting earthy menthol notes, good but not great, soft full round and broad, nothing really special about it.