Popular Posts

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay, 2009, Chile

As I have noted earlier (writing about a De Martino tasting), to me Chile, with its varying terroirs and microclimates, has the potential to be one of the more interesting New World countries for wine.

Viña Errázuriz, dating back to 1870, was founded by Don Maximiano Errázuriz  in the Valle de Aconcagua, 100 kms north of the capital city, Santiago and has a long and involved history - suffice it to say here that Don Maximiano’s descendant, Eduardo Chadwick, is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business, overseeing the modernisation of winemaking technology at this estate while maintaining a distinct identity for its wines.

Before I tried this wine, I had a twitter exchange with recovering journalist Paola Tich, tweeting as sipswooshspit, who found the oaking to be "clunky" and felt that the wine needed either time in bottle or decanter to integrate.

I have to say, however, that I disagree with Paola on this one - it is certainly a Big White, with plenty of tropical fruit and lots of layers of what I initially took to be buttery new oak, but which Wink Lorch helpfully pointed out is actually the wild yeast and character of the lees.

Trainspotters may be keen to note that approximately 30% of the final blend underwent malolactic fermentation with the wine then aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 11% of which were new.

So neither clunky, nor in fact oaky; but it is perfect for autumnal drinking and will match well with the sweetness of root vegetables and squashes, a touch of spice or nutmeg and big flavours like stews and casseroles, or will cut through meaty fish such as salmon and mackerel.

And if it's not the most versatile food wine, that's because it has so much of its own personality to shout about which makes it a great crowd-pleaser.

To me, this is what a sophisticated but fun New World chardie should be like - well-made, more-ish and a lively party-animal of a wine.

On the nose there is a cornucopia of toasty oak, butterscotch, vanilla musk, wet stones, grapefruit and tropical fruit.

The palate shows sweet vanilla, ripe pineapple fruit, rounded acidity and layers of toasty, buttery, oatmealy oak, whilst the sweetness and oak linger on the finish.

Researching for this review, I came across a piece on Viña Errázuriz by fellow CWW member Jamie Goode which details the fascinating history of the company and also provides a (much briefer) tasting note for this wine:

"Rich, quite complex and bold: an intense style of Chardonnay that is toasty, nutty and quite rich, but with nice freshness, too. 90/100 (01/08)"

Priced at £11.50 and available from Majestic, Co-op, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Matthew Clark, wine-studio.co.uk; provided for review.


Errazuriz - http://www.errazuriz.com/errazuriz/
Jamie Goode's review - http://www.wineanorak.com/chile/chileanwine_part2_vinedochadwick.htm
Wink Lorch - http://winetravelmedia.com/
Majestic - http://www.majestic.co.uk/
Co-op - http://www.co-operative.coop/food/food-and-drink/drink/Wine/
Wimbledon Wine Cellar - http://www.wimbledonwinecellar.com/
Matthew Clark - http://www.matthewclark.co.uk/
Cambridge Wine Merchants - http://www.cambridgewine.com/
wine-studio.co.uk - https://www.wine-studio.co.uk/

No comments:

Post a Comment