CHILE

 


WINEMAKER:
FELIPE MÜLLER
VINEYARDS:
LIMARÍ, MAIPO & CACHAPOAL
GRAPES:
SYRAH, PINOT NOIR, CARMÉNÈRE, CABERNET SAUVIGNON
PHILOSOPHY:
MODERN

Tabali & Kakan are wines made by Winemaker Felipe Müller whom is responsible for heading up the team at one of Chile’s Limari Valley wineries, located amongst the most northern wine regions of the country. He is a young passionate winemaker that has made it to the top emerging from many years of working in the Central Valley, where he was assisting in making some of the most innovative wines as the Chilean wine industry was entering a new era.

Felipe’s early days making wine allowed him to work with experienced leaders of the trade, having the opportunity to work with many varieties and styles across most Chilean wine regions from north to south.

This was prior to Müller taking on the challenge of becoming Chief Winemaker at Viña Tabali, in Limari; a state-of-the-art winery found 400kms north of Santiago.

The vineyards in the South with Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon seem to resemble Felipe’s way of coming to terms with the fact that the Limari Valley is definitely not suitable for these varieties, keeping the property up north assigned to grapes of a cooler preference.

In saying this, he pursued a couple quality vineyard sites located in the Central Valley with Cabernet Sauvignon in the Maipo for Tabali and Carmenere from Cachapoal for Kakan.

See below the two geographical profile diagrams that indicate the difference on the left of each image (West), which is the Coastal Mountain range and how the valleys are influenced by the cold ocean breeze depending on the exposure towards the Pacific (Limarí Valley at left and Maipo/Cachapoal Valley at right).

WINEMAKER:
ÁLVARO ESPINOZA
VINEYARDS:
MAIPO
GRAPES:
CARMÉNÈRE, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, SYRAH, GARNACHA, PETIT VERDOT
PHILOSOPHY:
BIO-DYNAMIC

Antiyal is owned and operated by Winemaker Alvaro Espinoza (Chile’s biodynamic guru) and his wife Marina. Their home is located in the Maipo Valley on the southern fringes of the capital city of Chile, Santiago. The vineyards on their 22 hectare property produce only red varieties with 10.5 ha’s planted east of the valley on the foothills of the majestic Andes Mountain range.

The Antiyal brand started with the introduction of a single wine ‘Antiyal’ 1998 (a blend which is the original orange coloured label with an indigenous Mapuche symbol) and for the first time heard of in Chile, he created a biodynamically certified farm that would also be acknowledged as the first garage winery amongst the well known giants, that until the early 2000’s dominated the local industry. This blend continues today as Antiyal’s flagship made with Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah respectively.

Eventually followed by another blend named Kuyen created in 2002, which plays the role as somewhat of a ‘second wine’ to Antiyal with the blend reversed, holding three Bordeaux components at just under 50% with predominant Syrah at the other end. Basically ‘sandwich-ing’ Cabernet Sauvignon in both blends.

In the realm of success, Espinoza decides to create a monovarietal wine with Antiyal Carmenere pairing up with its flagship at the high end, delivering one of the best versions of this variety in the country.

The demand for Antiyal’s wines grew so strong that the power couple became inspired to bring a new level of wine to their portfolio. This is when the Pura Fe tier was born, aiming to offer a more accessible price point with the introduction of a monovarietal Cabernet Sauvignon, a Carménère and a co-fermented blend of Garnacha/Syrah, which have proven to be a brilliant addition with increased exposure of their great wines.

“An evangelist for biodynamics, the winemaking consultant faced many sceptics when he introduced the philosophy to Chilean viticulture. But this charismatic pioneer has proved that when you believe in something strongly enough, the risk is worth taking.” Anthony Rose – Decanter Magazine.

WINEMAKER:
PASCAL MARTY
VINEYARDS:
MAULE
GRAPES:
CARMÉNÈRE, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, SYRAH
PHILOSOPHY:
TRADITIONAL

Viña Marty was established in 2008 when Winemaker Pascal Marty set out to do his own project in Chile.

Marty had been with Baron Phillipe Rothschild in Bordeaux for 14 years before he became one of the key Oenologists/Directors responsible for setting up Opus One in California and then Almaviva in Chile; two world class iconic wines that form part of the Rothchild’s portfolio. These are the outposts joint ventures based in two important New World wine regions for Bordeaux varieties; Napa Valley and Maipo Valley respectively. After his time with the bordelaise giant Pascal decides to remain in Chile and set his roots on Chilean soil with an array of winemaking consultancies before he goes solo to create Viña Marty.

Pascal’s experience with Carménère dates back to the era of when the Chilean industry was just getting to know and understand the variety. This was not an easy task for many producers at those times, as resources for research, trial and error were scarce for the smaller vigneron and the progress would generally be led by the big names.

Today Carménère is Chile’s pride and joy with many versions that have created identity for the long thin country and proving to be of great appeal to numerous wine consumers of the world.

WINEMAKER:
GUSTAVO MARTÍNEZ
VINEYARDS:
ITATA
GRAPES:
PAÍS, CARIGNAN, CINSAULT, MUSCAT OF ALEXANDRIA
PHILOSOPHY:
RENAISSANSE

Senses At Wine Company

Vinos Gustavo Martinez is a reasonably new project, producing wines from an area with a long history of grape growing.

The Itata region has been growing grapes since the arrival of the Spanish settlers, yet can be somewhat unknown, even for fellow Chileans in the industry based in the Central Valley to the north. Most vineyards are planted over rolling hills along the dry farmed coastal mountain range. A super cool climate with granitic soils that predominate the area and mostly old vines that can reach up to over 100 years old planted under bush vine.

Martinez also works with two other vineyards that are heading east towards the Andes Mountain range, with a presence of Volcanic soils. This is where it gets a little warmer too, best for the Carignan and País grapes he says.

The VGM project commenced in 2015 when Gustavo set out to making his own wine in a way the ancestors of this region produced for mainly local consumption. He admired the beauty of the Itata Valley and has pursued to revive traditional winemaking techniques used in this area, before the modern industry took over with a different approach. In saying this, his philosophy is to make wine in the Pipeño style, with minimal handling, jumping in vats doing his own ‘pigeage’ and no chemical additions from the vineyard to the bottle.

We visited the region together and his understanding of the Itata was fascinating, his enthusiasm is infectious and his tiny ‘bodega’ with 4 vats and no more than twenty old barriques, was a sign of meeting a great producer with an idea, a small investment and a whole lot of heart towards everything he is doing with wine. Best thing of all, is every wine we tasted out of a vat or barrique that day, was looking brilliantly consistent with VGM’s attitude towards quality over value.

Gustavo’s wines are respectfully true to the region and varietal, providing a savoury edge with energetic flair.

WINEMAKERS:
CLAUDIO CONTRERAS, MAURICIO GONZÁLEZ AND JAIME PEREIRA
VINEYARDS:
MAULE & BÍO-BÍO
GRAPES:
PAÍS, MALBEC, CARIGNAN
PHILOSOPHY:
RENAISSANCE

Tinto de Rulo is a project producing craft wine or Artisinal wine as they’d call it in Chile, born from the dream of three agronomist friends based in South Central Chile, the Bio Bio region, which is approximately 500 kms south of Santiago.

They work in association with small growers, using only grapes from organic vineyards planted over a century ago with no trellising system and growing freely across the rolling hills on some of the most southern planted vineyards within the long thin country.

Tinto de Rulo literally translates to ‘Red from Curls’, which doesn’t explain much in english, however in Chile it refers to the way these grapes are grown on old bush vine with no established irrigation through the season, also known as dry farming.

The trio are in unison with letting the fruit do all the talking and pursue the discovery of individual character revealed by each vineyard. Adamant to make wine with no chemical additions nor a great deal of hands on manipulation, they emulate ancestral techniques for ferments with the use of clay vessels (amphorae) and elevage in very old large format vats called Pipa (made from native Chilean Beechwood) used back in Chile’s early winemaking days i.e. pre oak times. Now this is how the name ‘Pipeño’ came about, as traditionally the wine was sold to the local population directly from the sizeable ‘Pipa’, poured into refillable 5 litre bottles known as Garrafa or Demijohn.

Hand harvesting and wild yeast fermentation combines with all of the above, delivering wines with edge and a unique character that is giving the South American wine industry a whole new reputation.

On the next shipment, we will see a third wine they produce, which offers the combination of old bush vine Carignan from the Maule region and of course their down to earth winemaking philosophy.

WINEMAKER:
JAIME CAMPOSANO
VINEYARDS:
LIMARÍ
GRAPE:
MUSCAT OF ALEXANDRIA
PHILOSOPHY:

Senses At Wine Company

Pisco Waqar is produced from distilled premium wine, made of 100% Muscat grapes that grow in Tulahuén, an area located in the Limarí Valley reaching altitudes of up to 1000 m.a.s.l. Limarí is approximately 400kms north of Santiago (Chile’s capital city) and has been known as one of the main Pisco producing regions for centuries.

The vineyards are irrigated with pristine spring waters originating from Andean glaciers, travelling east to west down the slopes of the semi-arid region at the southern end of the renowned Atacama Desert. This region is characterized by its white-pebbled soil, rare rainfall and drastic temperature change between day and night. As a result of these conditions, the Muscat grapes are picked with ideal acid levels and remarkable aromatic retention, which is revealed at every pour of Pisco Waqar.

Small batches are produced under the supervision of distillation master, Jaime Camposano, guided by his experience nourished through five generations that have handed down to him the tradition of making Pisco. Camposano oversees every step of Waqar’s production, from controlling the fire that gently embraces the large copper cauldron, to the sensorial criterion of blending every individual batch.

The high-altitude location of the distillery allows evaporation of the base wine using milder temperatures, whilst the extreme cold water from the Andes enables a gradual depuration of positive wine aromas, achieving only 47% alcohol strength with only the heart fraction being collected. In saying this, no head or tail are used in the production of this Pisco.

The philosophy in the distillery is to hold purity and display authenticity of this spirit, portraying the noblest Pisco crafting traditions. Therefore, no wood is used for aging and minimal filtration techniques are applied, allowing Waqar to excel with full sense of character.

Waqar (pronounced waa-kahr) has been heavily awarded over recent years with accolades that have changed the Chilean Pisco industry forever.