Thursday, October 18, 2018

Ventisquero Grey GCM and Carménère

Ventisquero Grey has been operating in Chile since 1998 -- sourcing fruit from their vineyards located in Chile’s principal wine regions: Coastal Maipo, Casablanca, Colchagua, Leyda and Huasco.  I recently received samples of two excellent and affordable wines from the winery. Cheers.

Ventisquero Grey Carménère 2014 ($20.00)
The fruit for this wine was grown in the Maipo Valley which is located just south of the capital city Santiago and as states " home to some of the country's most prestigious wines ... and is often described as the 'Bordeaux of South America'". Specifically the Maipo Valley is situated at the most northern end of the Central Valley separated from Mendoza by the Andes Mountains and blocked from the Pacific by the Coastal Range. The sun warms the valley during the day, followed by colder nights which slows ripening, extends the growing season, and leads to grapes with a balance between ripeness and acidity. An ideal environment for the Bordeaux based Carménère. Winemaker Felipe Tosso states that Carménère needs some oak to tame high concentrations of fruit, but too much oak masks the beauty of the fruit, and thus the Grey Carménère is aged a minimum 18 months in oak and at least 8 months in bottle. This method allows the wine to portray the dark red and black fruit characters integrated with a velvety texture and a very fresh palate.

Ventisquero Grey GCM 2017 ($20.00)
The GCM refers to 62% Garnacha, 19% Cariñena, and 19% Mataro (Mourvèdre) from a single block No 28, La Robleria, Apalta Valley - Colchagua from central Chile. According to, the "Colchagua Valley boasts a textbook wine-growing climate: warm, but cooled by ocean breezes and dry, but refreshed by rivers and occasional rainfall". And the Apalta Valley sub-region receives the brunt of these cold Humboldt Currents that provide a similar diurnal swing as discussed with the Maipo Valley. Tosso states that 2017 was a hot year where the grapes ripened weeks earlier with good acidity, low alcohol, and ripe tannins. "The GCM is an expression of single block vines that is fresh and fruity and doesn't require lengthy oak again." The wine is very friendly, fruit forward with a noticeable velvety texture and bright acids rounding out the palate. Time to start planning for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.

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