2018 Chardonnay Cachapoal Valley
This is filled with ripe peach and subtle tropical fruit, that makes you aware that you are in the southern hemisphere, but then cuts through with a lovely brightness and poise not unlike something from the Maconnais. Really well made with a delicate nutty richness, it enriches and refreshes in equal measure. Drinking range: 2019 - 2021 L&S (Oct 2019)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Chardonnay has suffered in recent years from too many examples that have failed to impress, leading to the ABC maxim – “anything but chardonnay”. Happily, this is one that does the grape justice. From the southern winegrowing region of Lontué, it has the melon and peach flavours that chardonnay is famous for along with the added butteriness that develops after partial fermentation in French oak barrels. That’s then enhanced by allowing the wine to age “sur lie”, that is on the sediment and yeast, giving you more richness and texture for your money. (The Independent).John Clarke(May 2020)
Abolengo is our latest discovery in the mountains of Chile's Cachapoal Valley. A 'start-up' microwinery — if not ‘nanowinery’ — formed in 2014 by friends Jamie Ross and Carlos Irarrazaval.
Carlos and his family have been growing high quality red grapes since the mid-1990s, supplying leading Chilean wine producers from their large estate in the Cachapoal Valley (whose history goes back to the wife of Chile’s Spanish Conquistador, Pedro de Valdivia). Jamie, who is British, has a long and close association with Chile, having first worked there in wine in the late 1980s. Cachapoal is one of Chile’s top wine producing regions, with excellent Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. But it is Carmenère, the one-time Bordeaux variety now thriving in Chile — for which the area is best known, particularly in the sub-appellation Peumo, where the vines for Abolengo are located.
With its south-facing vineyards, alluvial and granitic soils, and coastal breezes that both temper the heat and heighten luminosity, the Irarrazaval’s ‘La Rabicana’ Peumo estate has outstanding growing conditions for grapes that go into the Carmenère/Syrah blend. For the white, Chardonnay is sourced from Lontué, 90 km further south in the Curicó Valley, where cool nights follow warm days thanks to air falling from the Andes, creating physiologically well-balanced and expressive grapes.
With the help of consultant winemaker Jorge Gutierrez the small team here are just beginning as producers, lovingly making very small quantities of hand-crafted, authentic wines.
Chile remains where quality and value really come together. Here are some fine examples of Chilean style and value from Alfonso Undurraga and José Miguel Ovalle at Terrapura and more...
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