jamie goode's wine blog: Some Chilean whites from Errazuriz

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some Chilean whites from Errazuriz

You know, I reckon that Chilean whites work better for me than Chilean reds at the moment. After a strenuous but hugely enjoyable game of football tonight, played on the new synthetic surface that England played Russia on a while back, I'm trying three Chilean whites from Errazuriz. And they're pretty good.

Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Casablanca Valley, Chile
This is sourced from a block on the La Escultura estate, planted in 1992 with clones 242, 107 and Davis 1. 20% of the fruit (all hand harvested) was given 6 hour maceration with skins. It's nicely aromatic, with a fresh, slightly herby nose that shows good freshness and minerality, along with more tropical fruit richness. The palate is quite rich textured with lovely fruit sweetness giving it a rounded character (yet there's only 1.39 g/l residual sugar), along with good acidity contributing freshness. There are notes of grapefruit and herb, too. It's quite a concentrated and moderately complex Sauvignon of real appeal. A great buy at this price. 90/100 (9.95 Berry Bros & Rudd http://www.bbr.com/, http://www.chileanwineclub.co.uk/)

Erazzuriz Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Casablanca Valley, Chile
Again, a portion of the fruit here (24%) was given a 6 hour maceration to add body and aromatics to the wine. The wine has quite a zesty, citrussy nose with some fresh green herby notes and a bit of fruit richness. The palate is refreshing and quite crisp, but there's an appealing richness to the fruit, and a rounded character, too. Good concentration here, in a style that falls somewhere between the in-yer-face Marlborough (NZ) style and the more savoury Loire expression of this grape variety. 88/100 (6.49 Oddbins, 7.99 Thresher, but three for two)

Errazuriz Estate Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2006 Casablanca Valley, Chile
I like the concept behind this wine. 'Wild Ferments' are those where cultured yeasts aren't added. What happens is that indigenous yeasts from the vineyard and winery environment begin the fermentation slowly, and then after a while the regular wine yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, kicks in and finishes the job. Because of this, the wines that result (particularly the whites, in my experience) have added complexity of flavour, and a rather different mouthfeel. And here, with this Chardonnay, it works well. It has a warm, complex nose of butter, toast, herbs, vanilla and fruit spanning the spectrum from figs to lemons. The palate shows nice toasty complexity and nice fresh acidity, finishing long. Altogether, this is a thought-provoking, rich style of Chardonnay that may well improve with a couple of years in bottle. Good value for money. 90/100 (9.99 Tesco; Sone, Vine and Sun; 11.95 Berry Bros & Rudd)

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