Just before the fantastic CHILEAN WINES ON TOUR tasting in the Netherlands, I received 12 bottles of wines from Chile, allowing me to (re)discover the wines of one of my favourite wineries there, VIÑA MAQUIS and their sister winery CALCU. Tasting such high quality wines is always a pleasure. The charming Marcela Molina, commercial manager of the company was pleased to send me those samples. Some of them were already tasted during ProWein 2013 (see here) but it is good to have a second opinion of a wine, this time in quite moments, at home.
A BIT OF MAGIC: CALCU WINES
Why ‘magic’, not only because the wines are very well made, but also because of the name ‘CALCU’, meaning… MAGICIAN in Mapudungun (Mapuche language).
Please read the previous articles too.
My last visit was for the stand of EMILIANA. It was very nice to see Andrés Gillmore again and of course the iconic man that I interviewed in the early morning, Alvaro Espinoza.
Meeting and greeting one of my wine heroes, Alvaro Espinoza!
© Daniel Flores Productions
Please read the previous messages too!
I absolutely had to stop at the UNDURRAGA table, for many reasons… I was very impressed by my visit at the winery, all fantastic people with a great passion with what they do. The most impressive part at that time was not the entry level range (Undurraga, Aliwen… very popular in the Netherlands thanks to the great job of their Off Trade importer Albert Heijn, market leader in the Dutch supermarket world) but the higher ranges. I was really interested by the pioneer’s work of a young and talented winemaker called Rafael Urrejola, together with the great Chilean terroir consultant Pedro Parra and viticulturist Robert Pinto, expert in organic/biodynamic vineyards. I tasted there the first vintages of a new range called “T.H.”, standing for TERROIR HUNTER. Now, years later, that young winemaker Rafael Urrejola became chief-winemaker of the Undurraga Company and is doing very well! It was a great pleasure to meet and greet him again during the Dutch Chilean Wines on Tour 2013.
Please read the previous articles too
I walked along the ODFJELL table and I wouldn’t have tried anything there if I wouldn’t have been gently invited to by Patricio Anganoa. I told him that I visited ODFJELL and that I had some mixed feelings about their wines. No problem with the quality of the grapes, but the style of the wines I tasted there was still too ‘old-fashioned’ American blockbuster style. The use of oak was simply terrible and killing all the fruit, freshness and finesse of the wines, except for the top wines who had more complexity and could have that oak… but it was definitely not my style of winemaking. Patricio laughed softly and invited me to taste new wines, made by their French winemaker Arnaud Hereu. I met Arnaud during the visit at Odfjell and I remember that he was quite agreeing about the overdone oak use.
I have to admit that it was delightful to taste those younger vintages at this Chilean Wines on Tour 2013! Much more fresh fruitiness (not the old jammy / raisiny one up to 2006 and even 2007), more juiciness, much better balance, more mineral tones, much more subtle use of oak, more purity and elegance. Absolutely astonishing in a very positive way!
I was also surprised to hear about a Demeter certification for biodynamic viticulture at Odfjell! That, combined to the change of winemaker, a French one instead of an American, might explain a lot… Whatever it might be, this is a great move for Odfjell! Very impressive!
Please read the next articles too!
Like in the past years, some 20 Chilean wineries came to the Netherlands to let the press, trade, sommeliers, wine teachers etc (re)discover about 200 wines within 5 hours. It was hard work, but if you love Chilean wines, it is always a great pleasure to meet and greet the winemakers and/or export managers of all those wineries. Great news this year was to have Aurelio Montes Sr. as host and vice-president of the Wines of Chile association. Believe me; this is going to kick some asses in Chile and far outside! Don Aurelio told me a few of his plans, and he is quite a bit more ambitious than all his predecessors. I certainly do hope he will be able to achieve all those plans. It was fantastic to chat with him for a while. I still have great memories of my two visits at Montes Winery in Chile and one visit at Montes Kaiken in Argentina. Who knows me a little bit, knows that I do have a crush with the hyper sensual FOLLY syrah of this great winery, with as second favourite PURPLE ANGEL top-carmenère. (Please read this article about Don Aurelio Montes Sr. and his plans! And also of course this article at the WINES OF CHILE website)