Friday, June 30, 2017

Chilean Wine from Ventisquero & Valdivieso

I recently received review samples of four entry level Chilean wines, two each from Valdivieso and Ventisquero. Valdivieso became Chile and South America's first sparkling wine producer when in 1887, founder Don Alberto Valdivieso, released Champagne Valdivieso. Close to a century later the winery added still wines to their portfolio and today work with close to a dozen grape varieties. The current winemaker is New Zealand native Brett Jackson who has quite the resume working in New Zealand; Napa Valley; Stellenbosch, South Africa; and Narbonne, France before joining Valdivieso in 1999.
  • Valdivieso Valley Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($15) The 100% Sauvignon Blanc is from the Leyda Valley. The cooler valley provides slower and gentler ripening allowing the grapes to retain acidity.  This is an excellent wine, tropical aroma, weighty lemons, and abundant acids.
  • Valdivieso Brut Rose NV ($13) Comprised of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay all sourced from the foothills of the Los Andes mountain range in the Central Valley wine region. Secondary fermentation is achieved using the Charmat method. This value is incredible as the sparkler holds its own being dry with abundant flavors and a smooth effervescent finish.

Ventisquero is a younger entity founded in 2000 in the Maipo Valley. But under the guidance of winemaker Felipe Tosso they have expanded into other regions leveraging the expanding Chilean vineyard landscape. They just don't source the grapes but own the vineyards in Apalta, Lolol and Peralillo in Colchagua, Casablanca, Maipo, Leyda and Atacama.  I was sent two wines from the Reserva label, one of nine labels in the Ventisquero brand.
  • Ventisquero Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($15) The 100% Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the sandy-clay soils of the Casablanca Valley.   After fermentation the wine is aged on its lees for four months which provides a creamy depth to the soft lemon melon aromas and refreshing acids. Another great buy.
  • Ventisquero Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 ($17) The 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah are sourced from the Maipo Valley where the soils are granite and stony.  This is a very smooth wine with some chocolate leather and tobacco on the nose, a little dustiness, and very approachable tannins.Well done.

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