Christian CALLEC

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Posted by Christian Callec on dinsdag, september 24th, 2013

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

Because I am always trying to be honest, I had to taste a few wines again. I tasted them as well in Chile as during the Dutch importer’s open tasting and I was not very happy with the use of – for me – too much oak in the SIGNOS DE ORIGEN WHITE BLENDThe 2012 CHARDONNAY (68%), ROUSSANNE (12%), MARSANNE (11%) & VIOGNIER (9%) from Casablanca Valley instantly reduced my critics… Very fresh, full fruity, pure, mineral, with elegant floral notes and a hint of (hazel) nuts, almonds and honey… Fantastic wine! Alvaro was smiling to me; he knew I would like it… Why, because they reduced drastically the use of oak (6 months now) and started for 10% of the blend with clay egg tanks, like the ones used in many organic and biodynamic wineries! What a great move!

The red brother, SIGNOS DE ORIGEN SYRAH 2011 from Colchagua Valley was also delicious. 7% viognier makes it a nice Chilean version of Côte Rôtie. Here is the oak ageing (13 months) more understandable. The wine is full of berries with a hint of black (olive) tapenade, spices and wild aromatic herbs. All is very well balanced, giving a very tasty wine!

One of my favourite Chilean wines at home is COYAM, from Colchagua Valley… For me definitely one of the best value/pleasure/character for money in Chile. I tasted the 2010, a blend of 38% syrah, 27% carmenère, 21% merlot, 12% cabernet sauvignon, 1% mourvèdre and 1% petit verdot, all coming from the Los Robles vineyards on foothills. What a lovely wine, complex, very aromatic (berries, plums, spices, wild aromatic herbs, some floral notes and a gentle kiss of 13 months oak ageing)… the mouth feeling is smooth, full, round but elegant and well balanced thanks to the firm but ripe tannins. I just LOVE this wine!

I finished with the icon wine, (you know, Gaia, Geo etc… Mother Earth)… I think there is no better way to understand biodynamics in Chile than a visit to Los Robles, a walk in the vineyards, a visit of the kindergarten where all the plants for treatments are grown… It is really worth a day of visit… Then, you will understand much more why this wine is so outstanding! The 2010 GÊ is a blend of 48% carmenère, 38% syrah and 14% cabernet sauvignon. I fully agree with Alvaro Espinoza that the future of Chilean wines (not talking about the bulk wines and entry range) will not be mono-varietal wines but blends from specific terroirs. This is absolutely a perfect example of what Chili can do in the next decades. As the age of the vineyards will increase, the complexity of the wines will just be mind-blowing! Now, the age of the vineyards is only between 10 and 18 years! You’d better watch it in the future! This is not an easy sipping wine for the barbecue, you will understand that. It is a very serious wine, but not the overdone, overripe, heavy and boring type. The wine is intense aromatic (plums, berries, spices, pepper, graphite, oak and chocolate), has a great structure, full but elegant, very well-balanced thanks to a good freshness and smooth tannines. The finish is long and sensual, like a never ending kiss…  Outstanding wine!

I have to confess: I didn’t spit that last wine!

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