(2023) The coastal Leyda Valley is one of Chile's hotspots for cooler, ocean-influenced vineyards that suit varieties like Sauvignon Blanc. A small proportion of this sees fermentation in barrels, but it presses all the KSauvignon buttons. Pungent elderflower and loads of passion fruit and lychee to the aromas and palate. Lots of fruit here, limey acidity and a sweetness to the character just enriched by a background creamy component. It will undoubtedly please lovers of the vivacious Marlborough style, though verges on being a little too obvious for me.
(2022) This is made by Viña Ventisquero who are based in Maipo, but the 'Kalfu' labelling indicates that this range comes from their vineyards in the more northerly, coastal Leyda Valley, more recently put on the map for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and other cooler climate varieties. It's a Pinot from granite soils, matured in oak barrels - 10% new barrels - for 12 months. It wears its cooler climate credentials aromatically, with herbs and beetroot notes to savoury red fruit. In the mouth the sweetness and ripeness of the fruit does emerge, but it maintains that savoury, roasted chestnut and herb-touched sense of cool. Acids are bright and cherry-ripe, and tannins smooth and chocolaty, in a wine that will complement well-roasted poultry, but could take on beef too.
(2021) Made from the still relatively rare Sauvignon Gris, which has seen something of a mini-boom in Chile, this has some pungency and herbaceous, nettly character, but a musky melon note too. In the mouth this is richer than most Sauvignons Blanc, mealy and textured, with bold peach and crisp apple fruit giving sweetness and a bit of cut, a wine you might not drink a lot of I suspect, but rather delicious for a glass or two.
(2021) I've been a fan of Viña Leyda for many years, cemented by a visit to the estate many years ago where the attention to detail in their genuinely cool-climate, coastal vineyards was obvious. This has that Northern Rhône-ish, slightly herbal character, schisty and smoky, olive and blackberry fruit. The palate is savoury and juicy, a wine that is more about lean, slightly meaty and tight black fruit rather than sweetness, with gastronomic appeal. On offer at £8.25 from 3rd March 2021. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) Pioneers of the northen Leyda Valley, I visited Viña Leyda many years ago and was hugely impressed by the measures they had gone to to understand their soils and hillsides, mapping them minutely via 500 inspection pits they had dug to totally understand the soil composition, water retention properties, etc. This Pinot is aged for 10 months in new and second fill French oak and has a sweetly attractive nose, dark and lightly spicy, truffly and earthy, the fruit profile is black, but not heavy. In the mouth the surge of super sweet, ripe and luscious fleshy black berries is delicious, the texture quite plush and the sheen of oak adding to that impression. But again, there is no flabbiness or dead weight here: tannins and acids are brisk, and the savoury, sour cherry edge sharpens the finish.
(2017) 'Boya' is the Spanish of buoy, reflecting the vineyards proximity to the ocean in the Leyda Valley. It's a Pinot with a distinctly meaty and stemmy character, lots of chestnut and highly aromatic, almost liniment characters, before a palate with good fruit and a certain earthiness and smokiness, a fresh raspberry brightness to the acidity and infill of creamy oak adding height and depth to the profile. The lovely sweetness at the core of this asserts in the finish. £9.99 when you buy a mixed six from Majestic. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2016) Leyda is a coastal vineyard area in Chile, part of a move away from the original central valleys, as producers seek a range of cooler growing areas, using elevation, latitude, and proximity to the ocean as the tools to do so. This has a really fragrant appeal, loads of high, tomato leaf and cherry character, herbs and flowers, and a gamy and peppery quality that speaks of cool climate Syrah. In the mouth it is beautifully black-fruited, with the fleshy density of black plums, but also the tartness of the fresh acidity and tannin, just supported nicely by creamy oak. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2016) A soft edge to the colour and touches of beetrooty character though majoring on ripe fruit and a certain swirling smokiness. Juicy palte, the ripeness of the plummy fruit with a little chestnut. Quite a powerful Pinot, but not without finesse.
(2016) Huge perfume here, lots of smoky bacon and floral lift comnbining to give aromatic fireworks. Lovely palate with black fruits and some sweet smoky oak, but it is the gaminess and earthiness that comes through in a very northern Rhone style. Price quoted is for the 2012 vintage