Chile & Argentina
Free tasting | Friday, April 20, 2018 | 5-7PM
South American Wines with OZ Wine Co.
South America has been making wine since the 1500’s when Franciscan monks planted vines for religious purposes from Peru down to Argentina, but to quote Wine Folly, ‘back then, the wine was crap’ until the 1800’s when it became a serious contender when locals began experimenting with grape varieties. More recent economic boom and international curiosity has made Argentina and Chile sought after wine regions.
Mendoza is a gorgeous semi-arid desert that runs on an indigenous irrigation system that was built to channel Andean snow melt into the city and surrounding farmland. They get a whopping 300 days of sunshine a year! While Chile rains occasionally it is mostly very dry and hot; it’s actually the Humboldt Current that moderates hot temperatures and helps vines thrive in the Mediterranean climate. From North to South are the three wine regions where tomorrow’s Chilean wines hail from: Casablanca Valley, Maule Valley, and Itata. Casablanca and Maule are both in central Chile and benefit from proximity to the capital, Santiago. Recent wine tourism has given the regions a boost! Meanwhile, Itata is further South and while historically a significant wine producing region was almost forgotten because it was difficult to transport products and people! Luckily, in the past several decades interest in Itata has rejuvenated. Join us tomorrow as Chris from OZ Wine Co. pours South American wines that will blow your mind!
2016 Gen de Alma ‘Gene’, Mendoza, Argentina
Husband and wife team Gerardo Michelini and Andrea Mufatto started Gen de Alma in 2012 and are psyched about Gene, a red blend for the hearty, that is 50% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 % Cabernet Franc, and 15% Merlot. After being grown on stony calcareous soil 30% of the wine was aged in used oak. It has a velvety and elevated body and has notes of figs, plums, and earthy cherries.
2014 Rogue Vine Super Tinto, Itata, Chile
Justin Decker and Leonardo Erazo Lynch were drawn to the beautiful rough and tumble granite hills in Itata that were so steep the vines practically spilled out of them. Moved by the fantastic terroir and the forgotten wine region they decided to root Rogue Vine there. In their red blend, they combine equal parts Carignan, Malbec, and Syrah from bush vines that are between 70-90 years old. After going through whole berry fermentation with native yeasts the blend is aged in neutral oak for 6 months. It’s a brooding blend with notes of blueberry, plums, and white pepper.
2015 Rogue Valley White Blend, Itata, Chile
Pals Leonardo and Justin recommend traveling penniless worldwide to learn about wine- both spent the years after college traveling and drinking wine before moving to Itata where they started an organic winery together! This is a blend of Muscatel, Riesling, and Chardonnay. After being hand harvested and undergoing gentle crushing in a basket press, the wine was aged in neutral oak, and then aged in bottle for 3 months before release. It has savory mouthwatering notes of white flowers, apricot, and pineapple.
2015 Viña Maitia ‘Weon’ Carignan, Maule Valley, Chile
David Marcel hails from the Basque region in France but has been passionate about Chilean wine for years. He and his wife, Loreto, own the organic winery Viña Maitia in the Maule Valley. ‘Weon’ is Chilean slang for ‘mate’ which can be used as a compliment or insult and is a Carignan beauty with a touch of Pais. After being aged in concrete for 6 months it is earthy playful punch of tangy eucalyptus, raspberry, and currants.
2016 Viña Maitia Aupa Pipeño, Maule Valley, Chile
Weon’s sibling, Pipeño is a bright, playful blend that is mostly Pais but with a dabble of Carignan from the 10-hectare vineyard, Viña Maitia, which is dry farmed. Pipeño refers to a traditional method of winemaking in Chile that dates back to the 16thcentury. In this case, the Pais grapes are removed from the grape clusters manually by being hit over with a zaranda (a metal grid that acts as a de-stemmer and press) to a concrete vat where natural yeast fermentation takes place. The Carignan is aged in whole clusters and together the blend is briefly aged in concrete. It is refreshing and light with notes of strawberries, raspberries, and vibrant acidity.
2016 Prisma Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile
Casablanca Valley is a cool coastal region of Chile that is relatively new to the wine game-wine production didn’t take off there until the 1980’s! Let Casablanca Valley show you what it can produce with this electrifying Sauvignon Blanc that was grown on three separate vineyard sites on sandy and clay soil. It is zippy and mighty with notes of lemon, lime, and grapefruit.