Producing high quality Pinot Noir is the ultimate challenge for any winemaker - and here is a good example
Top quality grapes are selected from the best part of the valley, La Escultura and fermented with their own natural yeasts - nothing added here. As a result, and after a few months ageing in French oak, this is a wine with potential. It's youngish now but ready to drink and will only improve with age - well worth a try if you want to see what good Pinot tastes like
Drink now + 3 years
Decanter World Wine Awards 2010
International Wine Challenge 2010
Casablanca Valley region of Chile
Casablanca is probably the most recognizable word when it comes to Chilean wine, which is hardly surprising because it was the birthplace of Chile’s crisp white wine phenomenon.
Sandwiched between the capital city of Santiago and the colourful coastal city of Valparaíso, Chile’s ability to make such crisp and elegant whites was only realised as recently as the mid-1980s, and it hasn’t looked back since. There will not be many Chilean wineries who do not use fruit from Casablanca somewhere in their range these days.
Today the region’s popularity has never been higher, and the demand for vineyard space has never been greater. But increasing Casablanca’s hectarage of vineyards, much like other Chilean regions is tricky due to the scarcity of water required for irrigation of the vineyards, something which cannot be aided by run-off water from the Andes for the simple reason that it is too far west to benefit from this.
While Chardonnay still reigns supreme, Sauvignon Blanc performs equally as well here, while red grapes are not uncommon in this region; Merlot and Pinot Noir are the two most planted, while there is increasing experimentation in the region. Increasingly, Malbec seems work well here too.
Pinot Noir has been planted in Burgundy since the 14th Century (with evidence suggesting it has been planted here since the 4th Century!). Following Burgundy would be Champagne as Pinot Noir’s 2nd home, and of course this grape is often used in Champagne. Unfortunately due to its thin grape skin Pinot Noir is difficult to grow and cultivate, hence it has taken a while for it establish itself outside France. Regions where it has been successful and where premium Pinot Noir are now being produced are California, New Zealand and Australia.
Pinot Noir has great affinity with Oak and young wines typically display a fruit perfume of raspberries, strawberries and red cherries. Due to the thin grape skin Pinot Noir usually has soft, light tannins and is seldom deep in colour. Pinot Noirs tend to age unpredictably, leading some to claim that they are at their best for a short period of time. But as many Pinot Noirs can be enjoyed in more than one style this is rather a limited point of view.
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Salads & Vegetables
A good tapas-style dish of chorizo and spicy sausages would work well here, and grilled chicken or beef salad would also be a winner.
Fish & Seafood
This wine is generally too heavy for fish and seafood.
Pasta & Other Sauces
Best suited to cream based sauces like a good white or cheese sauce found in dishes such as lasagne and carbonara.
Best suited to rich flavoursome meats such as duck, goose and venison but would also work well with a roasted or grilled joint of beef or lamb.
Herbs & Spices
Best matched to black pepper, chives, cloves and coriander - big flavours! We would also recommend using sage, but very much in moderation.
A great wine to have with anything with a kick to it, such as Mexican and Indian cuisine - it can handle the lot.
Delicious with creamy blue cheeses and mature Cheddar, it also works a treat with Parmesan!