You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Sunday 5 July 2015

Pinot producers look to coastal Maule

26th August, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt

Chile’s coastal Maule could become the latest hot spot for top-end Pinot Noir as two new projects promise to prove the quality of the area.

torres_chile_empedradoterrazas

The Empedrado terraced vineyard in Maule’s coastal mountain ranges where Torres Chile has planted Pinot Noir. Picture source: John E Fells

Launching next year from Torres Chile will be the first vintage of a Pinot which was planted 24km from the sea in Maule’s coastal mountain ranges, while Ricardo Beattig, who is winemaker at Viña Morandé, has been working on a personal project with his wife using 0.5 hectares of Pinot planted just 2km from the ocean in Maule.

According to Jaime Valderrama Larenas, managing director at Viña Miguel Torres Chile, 2012 will be the first vintage from the Torres Pinot project located near Constitución in the coastal part of Maule.

The wine and sub-appellation are called Empedrado, meaning stoney, in reference to the slate soils at the site (pictured, above).

In fact, the plot was selected 11 years ago during an attempt to find an area with similar geology to Spain’s Priorat, where Torres Chile might plant Carignan and Garnacha.

However, records Valderrama, “Being just 24km from the ocean with a cool climate, is it the best place for Pinot Noir, so we have planted the entire site [30 hectares] to Pinot.”

Considering Torres had to remove pine trees on the site, then build a lagoon to collect water for irrigation, as well as terrace the property, Valderrama says that the whole project has been “very expensive”.

Adding to the costs was the failure of the original planting of Mediterranean grapes, as well as the low yields, and need to protect the grapes from birds using netting over the vines.

Valderrama also told db that just 200 cases of Pinot will be released next year and that it would be more expensive than Cono Sur’s Ocio, which is priced a little over £30 in the UK.

However, he said that the Torres wine would be different in style: “It will be more European, lighter in colour and more elegant.”

Ricardo Beattig also identified the potential for Pinot in coastal Maule and told db that the grapes from his vineyards near the Pacific ocean were producing wines that were “very interesting, super fruity, with low alcohol and nice acidity.”

Beattig added: “Key your eyes open for Maule Costa.”

pinot_noir

Top quality Pinot with freshness and pure fruit is not easy to find.

For others though, Aconcagua Costa is becoming the source of Chile’s top Pinots.

One outstanding example stems from Clos des Fous, which has just released a Pinot from the Pucalán vineyard in Aconcagua Costa.

The vines were planted by Chilean terroir specialist Pedro Parra in 2007 and the first commercial vintage comes from 2012, bottled in March this year.

Called Arienne, just 250 cases have been made, with the first order coming from the UK’s Simon Taylor at Stone, Vine & Sun.

Furthermore, as previously reported by db, a launch planned being for late next year of an “icon” Pinot Noir (and Chardonnay) from Viña Errazuriz under its “Burgundy Project” comes from Aconcagua Costa.

Viña Errázuriz president Eduardo Chadwick described Chile’s newly-recognised Aconcagua Costa region, as “a top class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir zone”. He also said that Errázuriz winemaker Francisco Beattig has been “really focusing on Pinot for the last five years” helped by the support of Burgundian consultant Louis-Michel Liger-Belair.

Noting that the 2014 launch vintage was afflicted by frost at the start of the growing season and relatively cool conditions at the end, the crop of Pinot was “small, intense, and pure” with “good acidity”.

He stated, “Top quality Pinot with freshness and pure fruit is not easy to find”.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Oregon producer takes international view

One of Oregon’s youngest wine estates has partnered with Jackson Family Wines more...

How to drink like a billionaire

With access to tropical islands, private yachts and the best food and drink more...

Accolade's Fish Hoek goes Fairtrade

South Africa's Fish Hoek is to go Fairtrade from the 2015 vintage, becoming more...

Wine Buyer

London, United Kingdom

Based on experience

Top 10 wines in the US press

A Texan Albariño, NY Riesling and Californian Syrah are among the wine tips more...

Vinadeis unveils Languedoc 'black diamonds'

One of France’s largest wine producers has launched a high-end Languedoc more...

Wimbledon serves up English wine

Organisers of this year’s Wimbledon have decided to offer tennis fans English more...

Digital and Communications Executive

£22,000-£26,000 dependent on experience

Yealands sells majority stake

Yealands Family Wines' owner Peter Yealand has agreed to sell 80% of the more...

WOSA woos UK indies and on-trade

Wines of South Africa has announced plans for a new UK trade tasting later this more...

Red wine could help fight depression

A component found in the skins of red grapes could be used to treat depression more...

International Business Development Assistant

London, United Kingdom

To be determined, based on the profile and experience of the candidate

Top 10 wines in the UK press

An English fizz fit for Wimbledon, a "chunky, berry-stuffed" Negroamaro and a more...

Fire devastates New Zealand winery

A fire has ripped through a New Zealand winery destroying its offices, kitchen more...

Mumm releases Santana sparkler

Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana has teamed up with Mumm Napa to release a more...

English fizz attracts new deal

English sparkling wine producer Jenkyn Place has stepped up its ambitions by more...

Constellation to buy Meiomi for $315m

Constellation Brands is to buy Napa-based wine brand Meiomi for $315 million, more...

China’s Ningxia region launches wine contest

Select winemakers will have the chance to travel to China to learn from its more...

Hatch Mansfield – Brand Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive salary

Mumm releases vintage collection

Champagne Mumm has released a new “Collection du Chef de Caves”, featuring more...

Bordeaux 2005: 12 ‘perfect’ wines

Twelve wines have been given “perfect” 100-point ratings in Robert more...

Austrian wine importer launches in Hong Kong

A wine importer specialising in Austrian wines has launched in Hong Kong to more...

London Sales Manager / Key Account Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive - depending on skills and experience

Copa América: Malbec vs Carmenère

Saturday sees Chile and Argentina go head-to-head in football’s Copa América more...

Top 10 wines in the US press

An impressive Tannat-Merlot-Zinfandel blend from Uruguay and a Vernaccia from more...