May 11, 2012

Errazuriz tasting with "Caliterra" range wines @ Wennerco

Wennerco organised an Errazuriz tasting in Ruoholahti, Helsinki with Rodrigo Plass from Errazuriz presenting the wines and giving insight into Chilean winemaking as well as the different climat and terroir in Chile. The tasting gave good insight into the Caliterra and Estate wine ranges, targeted for pleasant consumption on every meal or enjoyed in good company.

Caliterra is a new vineyard planted in 1997, and the name comes from blending "calidad", i.e. quality and "terra", i.e. soil into a single word, expression of a quality vineyard in the Colchagua Valley 60 kilometers from the coast and 150 meters above sea level, adjoining the Apalta Valley.

In particular the sangiovese project, single vineyard syrah blend and sauvignon blanc look promising. We tasted young vintages, and although these wines are made for early drinking I would be interested to see how they develop in 5 years.

Caliterra Reserva Chardonnay 2010

Medium lime yellow color, the young wine has slightly toasted aromas while its nose is full of exotic fruits and white pepper. Like citrus mixed with green paprika as evident green and green leaf notes are there mixed with vanillin. Nice and crisp acidity keeps the wine fresh and clean all the while the palate is rather thick - a lot of things going on here, and in a positive sense. The rather long aftertaste has an acidic finish. A very nice companion with plate of seasoned chicken, asparagus and young pees on a plate should you require food with it. 13.5% abv.

Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard 2011

Blackcurrant leafs, vanillin and greasiness on the nose. From a rather cold vintage with low yields. Made predominantly in stainless steel tanks with 2-3% matured in used oak for 2-3 months. The oak maturation gives the wine creaminess and the slightly fatty and vanillin feeling. On the palate a somewhat thicker and almost oily mouth feel not typical for a sauvignon blanc. Alcohol comes a bit through on the mid palate, warming the mouth feel. The finish is long and quite full bodied. The partial oak maturation process brings new elements into the wine, setting apart from typical sauvignon blancs. 13.5%. Enjoy with delicate seafood, the winemaker's suggestion was not with fatty fish.

Errazuriz Estate Reserva Sangiovese 2010

The Estate Reserva is a new project for Errazuriz and the best sangiovese I have had outside of Italy. The cultivation of sangiovese is spreading more and more outside of Italy to cover parts of Australia, California, Romania, Argentina and France. And now to Chile. Worth a try then.
Young purple color. The wine's aromas shoot out of the glass as they are plenty with fleshy cherry, licorice and ink in a thick expression. They used 50% French and 50% American oak for maturation.  full-bodied wine's fruit is quite sweet. Ink mixed with cherry fruit and good acidity. Again, alcohol a bit higher than rest of the components. Big tannins however not drying the mouth as you would expect from a young and quite tannic wine. The finish is a little harsh too.
According to Rodrigo, the wine will not mature like a sangiovese in Tuscany, however it would be interesting to taste this wine in 5 years as I have no doubt that the wine will develop nicely within the time period. 14.5% abv.

Errazuriz Estate Reserva Syrah 2010

Mostly syrah (95%) however some cabernet sauvignon (5%) in the mix. Really, really dark purple color. Maturation for 7 months in used oak which was 50% French, 50% American. The aromas go darker in this one compared to earlier wines.  Quite sweet fruit and meaty / game feeling, the nose opens up beautifully. The wine is concentrated however not really full bodied with a quite lean mid-palate, with black cherry dominating. More southern Rhone than northern Rhone should you look for a benchmark, however in a new world package. The finish is long yet a little harsh.

Caliterra Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Cabernet sauvignon is the flagship grape of Chile. Given the above wines, it is really interesting to see what Errazuriz does with CabSav in this range, as their most well known and world renowned wines are predominantly cabernet wines.
Fresh blackcurrant leaf, cocoa, chocolate and even hints of leather, in such a young wine. All good indications! Medium+ intensive purple. Again, alcohol is a bit too evident, which makes it a pattern in this tasting. Cassis, eucalyptus and mint mixed with blackcurrants. It is evident that the best grapes go to the Icon wines as the taste is a bit dry and straightforward. However in my tasting notes I wrote that the wine will develop for sure for some years as the fruit will develop into a dry liqueur like feeling, very much anticipated by yours truly in mature wines.

Caliterra Tributo Single Vineyard Syrah 2010

We find ripe cherry and plum fruit with black pepper, truffles and leather. The single vineyard syrah blend shows promise at a young age and is suitable for medium long cellaring. Juicy dark fruit with multilayered expression, fresh basil developing in the aftertaste. Matured 14 months and made of 86% syrah, 8% malbec, 4% merlot and 2% cabernet sauvignon. The grape mix gives character to the wine. Again, I did note the alcohol coming through a bit too much.  

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