This is quite exciting. It’s a new high-end Pinot Noir from Chile, made by Torres. And it has been a long time coming. 20 years ago, Torres went prospecting for a special Chilean terroir with slate, to replicate the soils of Priorat. They found a site called Empedrado, which was a forested slope with slate soils, and bought the 369 hectare property in 1999. It’s in coastal Maule, near Constitución, 180km south of Curicó. So far, 15 hectares of terraced vineyards have been planted.
Initially, the property was planted with Grenache, because of the Priorat connection. This didn’t work, so in 2007 they devoted it to Pinot Noir, and this – the 2012 – is the first vintage. The wine is really good, but it will be pretty crazily expensive – around £90 per bottle.
Escaleras de Empedrado Pinot Noir 2012 DO Empedrado, Chile
13.5% alcohol. Ripe, silky and textured with real finesse. It’s fleshy and quite smooth but not over-ripe. Lovely cherry fruit core, with such a lovely purity, and really refined fine-grained tannic structure. Fresh and well balanced, and it doesn’t taste Chilean at all: more high-end Californian or Oregon in character. 94/100
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