(2019) From the original 'cool climate' valley of Chile, Casablanca, where morning mists and proximity to the ocean moderate temperatures, this is lightly-oaked, and spends four months on the lees, giving it breadth and texture and a certain creaminess. Aromatically there's a bit of almost Sauvignon-like passionfruit, peach and notes of more exotic tropical fruits. In the mouth that leesiness gives a mouth-filling texture, and again the fruit is ripe and exotic, with mango and papaya, as well as a grapefruity note that continues into the finish to add a welcome acid counterpoint. Quite long, and a lovely style really, blending ripeness and openness, with a stylish, dry finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) If you're a fan of the vivacious, aromatically pungent style of Sauvignon Blanc you will love this. From Casablanca, the original cool-climate valley on Chile's coast, it is loaded with pea shoot and grassy, elderflower punch and and intense lychee fruitiness. In the mouth that intensity does not let up, a sweeping core of pithy, almonst saline lemon acidity streaking through the tropical fruit richness of the mid-palate. I've come up against very few Chilean Sauvignons with this much personality and zing. Absolutely worth trying if you like this style.
(2016) From Casablanca. I was told this is in independents at around £8.99, but wine-searcher shows no listings at time of writing. Lemony with a bit of spangle sweetie brightness, a little more palate weight. A touch more tropical, but finishes with that bright lemon sherbet zestiness.
(2016) Bright green and youthful colour, fruit from Casablanca. 45% fermented in new and 1 year old barrels. Figgy and rich, with big tropical fruit notes but also an oiliness and richness of toast and buttered muffins. Leesy and rich, but the lemon and lime vibrancy and freshness comes through nicely.
(2015) Cabernet Franc is the great red wine grape of Bordeaux's 'right bank' as well as the Loire Valley in France, and yet it is a variety that does not always travel well, finding nothing like the global popularity of its cousin, Cabernet Sauvignon. And yet when it is ripe and made well it offers a wonderful combination of full-fruited richness and an energised, lively personality. This is a terrific example of that, ripe and sweetly packed with blackcurranty fruit, yet so agile with its cherry and raspberry lick of red fruit acidity, svelte tannins and sappy and refreshing edge.
Like an excellent Loire red (or even a fine Cru Beaujolais in some ways), but with the dial turned up to 11. Watch the video for my full review and for specific food matching suggestions.
(2015) A sophisticated Pinot Grigio from the cool coastal vineyards of the Casablanca Valley, this has loads of aromatic character unlike some bland versions of this variety. Sparky with greengage and hints of elderflower, and lots of crunchy apple and lime aromatics. In the mouth it becomes much more tropical, and I believe there's a bit of residual sugar here too, giving this a full and luscious character, whilst it has spice, texture and acidity. A big blast of orange finishes in style. That sweetness and verve would make it ideal with spicy Thai and Szechuan dishes.
(2015) The Casablanca Valley is the longest established of Chile's recognised cooler climate regions, but Syrah is not the variety that springs to mind as a Casablanca speciality. There is a lovely purity about this wine, certainly a Syrah at the floral and perfumed end of the spectrum, a hint of freshly laid tar, balsamic notes. 65% ageing in oak adding gloss and smoothness, the palate rich with black fruits, all very silky, very seductive, and nicely balanced too. A most impressive wine. £8.25, The Wine Society.
(2014) >From Casablanca, this is like walking through a damp forest, kicking up the briar and leaves of the damp autum. Gorgeous vanilla layering, and so much hedgerow and cassis fruit beneath. So much full, ripe, rich flavour licked with vanilla and juicy briar. Lovely palate, with a delicate and delicious edge of spice and pipe tobacco always intriguing and ultimately, hedonistic and subsuming. Fabulous.
(2013) Around 1380 GDD here, with a diurnal range of 16.5ºC. 14.4% ABV. The first of the Chardonnays comes from sandy alluvial soils, where granite and clay make for good drainage but some water retention. It has a pale green-gold colour and gentle toast, hints of ripe fig and of brioche, with some Cox's pippin nuttiness. On the palate it is dry, the mineral and stony character coming through, with lots of intensity and concentration, but good energy too.
(2013) 1380 GDD with a diurnal range of 16.5ºC. 14% ABV, this comes from further inland and a warmer climate, but quite similar granite hillside soils. A higher proportion of new oak is used. It is more earthy and vegetal, with real Pinot mushroom and truffle. It is big and quite grippy and structured stuff on the palate, spicy, with a firm grip to the tannins and that earthy, vegetal dryness. Quite fine tannins but dry, and a slightly less elegant but good expression of Pinot.