20 May 2013 - webeditor - Errazuriz, Guest Blog, News & Events, Wine Talk

Special Guest Blogger Dermot Nolan: Aconcagua

Wine Source Chile is thrilled to welcome Dermot Nolan Irish Master of Wine as this month’s Guest Blogger. Dermot visited Chile and Argentina with Brandabout S.A. in 2010 and we are honoured that he has agreed to share his knowledge on Chilean wine with us. We hope you enjoy Dermot’s blog as much as we do, stay tuned for more from Dermot and other Wine experts.

 

 

 

Aconcagua

The Chile trip started the minute we hit the ground at Santiago Airport where we were met by Susana Gonzalez of Brandabout. We drove immediately into the Aconcagua Valley to visit Errazuriz, a winery which is 140 years old this year.

Errazuriz has a long history but, as for almost all wineries in Chile, they really date their wine history to the arrival of Miguel Torres in the 1970s and the decision in 1985 of 5 wineries, including Errazuriz, to exhibit at Vinexpo. In 1983 te estate started to buy up vineyards and to expand and it now has holdings in the Upper Aconcagua, all around the estate and winery, in the Coastal Aconcagua (the manzanar vineyard), in Casablanca (the Escaltura vineyard) and in Alto Maipo with Vinedo Chadwick.

We were met by Soledad Meneses, one of the winemakers, and had an excellent tasting through the range. I have unfortunately mislaid (i.e. lost) my tasting notes so I regret that the next few lines will be from memory.

We started with sauvignon blancs, not my favourite grape variety by any means but one which performs very well in Chile. The wines were from the coastal vineyards and had a combination of lemon citrus notes with some mineral tones. Wines from Casablanca followed which showed slightly more minerality and a hint of green fruits. For me, sauvignon blanc from Chile has a better balance between crisp notes and body than is the case in New Zealand or, for the most part, South Africa. We then moved on to chardonnay, showing lovely breadth on the palate and the Don Max Reserva was very good. Then a pinot noir which had gorgeous bright cherry and raspberry fruits.

The reds were extremely good, with the Don Maximiano being a wonderful wine which needs time to open up and develop fully. In fact, one of the notable points from this tasting was the extent to which the wines over-delivered: at prices around €11.95 for the Estate wines the flavours and structures were of wines which could be aged for a good few years, certainly the reds.

We then had a quick tour around the vineyards and the new winery and barrel hall, which is most impressive, before settling down to a very good lunch. This was my second visit to Errazuriz and I came away asimpressed this time as I had been the first time. I think this is an estate which makes excellent wines of great quality and value, is dynamic and progressive and well worth seeking out.

 

About Dermot Nolan

Master of Wine and Member of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW). Elected to the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2008, a prestigious international appointment allowing him access to many suppliers and producers across the world.

Writes for and Food & Wine Magazine (leading consumer monthly magazine -  “food and drink bible” ,  Wine Ireland and Shelf Life (trade magazine and website with more than 38,000 readership per month)

To read more of Dermot’s work you can visit his blog: Dermot’s wine blog

 

 

To read more expert blogs go to: Guest Blog

To learn more about Aconcagua valley visit: Learn about wine – Terrois & Valleys

 

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