Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Kalfu Kuda and Chile's Leyda Valley

Kalfu means ‘blue’ in the language of the Mapuche, the indigenous inhabitants of Chile, and for the Mapuche, Kalfu is synonymous with the magnificent Pacific Ocean that borders Chile’s western coastline. A coastline blessed with an exceptional cool climate, constant refreshing breezes and early morning fogs that enforce a slow, steady ripening period for grapes, helping to create balanced, elegant wines.
Whereas Chile's Maipo Valley and Colchagua Valley seem to get the majority of wine recognition, be prepared to notice a new region coming of age: the Leyda Valley. This area is a small sub-region of the San Antonio Valley, itself a smaller region located in central Chile, 55 miles west of the capital, Santiago. Leyda is a cool-climate region where the grapes are affected by the Pacific's Humboldt Current (A cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north along the west coast of South America from the southern tip of Chile to northern Peru). Although the terroir was suitable for viniculture, vines were not planted in abundance until the late 1990s when an irrigation pipeline was constructed to channel water from the Maipo River in the south. The cool ocean breezes and morning fog slow the maturation process and with abundant sunshine allow the grapes to fully ripen as well as develop complexity while still retaining acidity.

Kalfu is a brand from Vina Ventisquero - one of the vignerons who have leveraged the Leyda Valley to produce cool-climate wines, two which I received samples. This Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are sourced from the Las Terrazas Vineyard, a site situated just 7 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean and close to the Maipo River - thus receiving the full force of the Pacific's cooling influences. According to Kalfu winemaker, Alejandro Galaz, "From the vineyard to the bottle, producing cool climate wines can be challenging, but I enjoy a challenge – always striving to produce wines that are a sincere expression of elegance, distinction, and subtlety of the grape varietal."

Kalfu Kuda Sauvignon Blanc 2018 ($19.00)
This wine is complex for its price with divergent citrus and tropical fruit aspects, mild minerality, and very clean and refreshing acidity.

Kalfu Kuda Pinot Noir 2017 ($19.00)
This medium-bodied wine is chalky and dusty merging with black cherry fruit and slight spices and finishes with noticeable yet rounded tannins.

Disclosure: We received samples from Kalfu Kuda in order to share our opinion about their products, but this isn’t a sponsored post.

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