(2013) >From the northerly Limari Valley, one of Chile's newer and cooler regions, this carefully made Chardonnay was fermented with indigenous yeasts and spent 11 months in used French oak barrels. The nose has that delightfully flinty, complex sulphide character of quality Burgundy, taut and racy with apple and fragrant pear, but a touch of frangipane with its delicate nuttiness. On the palate it is admirably cool and restrained, with a modest 13.5% alcohol and the clean bite of apple and citrus driving the mid-palate. Balanced, fine, yet substantial, this is a really nicely balanced and distinctive Chardonnay.
(2013) One of the highest GDD at 1600, diurnal range of 16.1ºC. 14.1% ABV. Again from alluvial terraces with some chalk, and covered in rounded stones. Pale gold, still a hint of green. A bigger wine immediately, with lots of toast, giving a coffeeish character and a real fig and quince richness. Rounder and bigger than the Carmen on the palate, there is real fruit sweetness here, edging into the tropical spectrum, but tangy and juicy too, a real lemon and mineral, typical Limarí freshness in the finish.
(2013) GDD 1550, diurnal range of 13.5ºC. 14% ABV. This comes from limestone soils with sandy loam, and a vineyard 12 kilometres from the coast that enjoy some cooling fogs, but quite warm as it edges closer to the Atacama. It spends 12 months in French oak. Lovely red fruit character, nice and ripe and open with a hint of strawberry. On the palate leaner in style than the Ocio from Casablanca certainly, more orange to the acidity and a little more angular overall. Enjoyable nevertheless.
(2013) From vineyards with a 'big Pacific influence', GDD 1600, diurnal range of 16.1ºC. 14% ABV. Vineyards planted on alluvial river soils, with clay and stones over chalk. Very dense, opaque crimson colour. Meaty aromatics are dense and savoury, not so aromatically lifted as the Errázuriz, but with a lovely savoury depth. Juicier on the palate, ripe and round but seems just a little too solid and foursquare, with a little leathery aspect in the finish.
(2010) 100% barrel-fermented. Fine, alluring toasty nose, with lots of Brazil nut and buttery aromas, and a nicely ripe yellow plum and melon fruitiness. The palate has lovely weight: the oak is nicely supportive but not overpowering, and the juicy, lemony quality of the acidity cuts through a full mid-palate. Deliciously balanced.
(2010) Unoaked. Creamy, soft, slightly floral perfume on the nose, with gentle nutty notes and some herbal notes. The palate has cool, lemony and mineral character, with a touch of that leafy character, quite a rich texture and a nice, pleasantly focused and clean.
(2010) 85% Merlot. Pleasantly herbal and earthy, with a touch of tobacco and red plum fruit. Quite a bright, racy palate, with good fruit sweetness, but a nicely savoury character too. The slightly green note detracts slightly on the finish, but I like the spicy freshness of this and it would be a good food wine.
(2010) Comes from the higher quality parts of the vineyard, fermented in Burgundian French oak and aged 10 months. Beautifully creamy, hazelnut nose, with aromatic spices and notes of fennel and flint. The palate has a core of salty minerality, with a creamy texture, but quite a tight, focused fruit quality - citrus and fresh cut apple juiciness, with an orangy note to the acidity. Quite lean and delicious.
(2010) No pyrozene aromas here, but then it is fairly subdued aromatically overall. A nice hint of dusty black fruit. On the palate fairly racy, with good acidity and a nicely sharpened fruit appeal, with a liquoricy savoury edge. Another savoury, lean style, but successful.
(2010) The first release from the new Calica vineyard near the coast that I visited. A Sauvignon in the stony, flinty, mineral mould, with only very subdued green aromatics, leafy herbs and a huge core of citrus. There is terrific bite and decisiveness to this, with that cool and flinty core to it. Very concentrated.