Wine News 

October 4, 2016

Vina Errazuriz's Chief Winemaker Francisco Baettig is looking to create Burgundy-quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the winery's new Las Pizarras project on the Aconcagua Coast of Chile, focusing on small production from top-quality vines planted a decade ago. 

Grapes from only about five hectares of the 50 hectares of Chardonnay and six to seven hectares of the 70 hectares of Pinot Noir went into making the 200 cases of white and 300 cases of red 2014s that sold out earlier this year from the first vintage, Baettig said during a visit to London. 

The vineyards, about 10 kilometers from the coast, are cool climate with a slate soil leading to a "mineral, elegant style," he said. He has been working with Burgundy geologist Francoise Vannier-Petit to analyse soils and identify optimum parts of the Chilean vineyard which could correspond to the grand cru, premier cru and village designation familiar from Burgundy.

"I'm looking for a linear, dry finish" to the Chardonnay, he said, in contrast to the more classic New World style which can be redolent of tropical fruit and warmth in the vineyard.. "More restrained, more elegant and refined." 

The 2015 vintage of Las Pizarras will become available to the market in May next year, Baettig said. Baettig, who has been at Errazuriz for 13 years and previously worked in Argentina and studied in Bordeaux, was in London to celebrate 30 years of Errazuriz's flagship wine, the Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve.

September 14, 2016

Caliterra, a Chilean wine estate set up in 1996 as a venture between the Robert Mondavi family of California and Vina Errazuriz, has marked its twentieth anniversary with the release of a vintage its chief winemaker Rodrigo Zamorano describes as a "really Chilean Malbec."

"It's not tannic, it's more in the acidity, it's more in the freshness," Zamorano said in an interview during a visit to London this month. "We're not competing with Argentina. It's a different experience."

Caliterra extends over 1,085 hectares of Chile's Colchagua Valley, of which 288 are planted with vines. Its Caliterra Tributo Petreo 20th Anniversary Malbec is the fruit of two decades of experience and experimentation.

Zamorano has been with Caliterra since 2011, and previously trained in France, including Bordeaux. "I went all over France but I didn't go to Cahors," the home of Malbec, he said. "At that time no-one was talking about Malbec.

At a London dinner presenting Malbecs that have inspired him in recent years, he included Achaval Ferrer Finca Mirador 2013, Alto Las Hormigas Gualtallary 2013 and Zorzal Eggo 2012 from Mendoza and Chateau du Cedre Le Grand Cedre 2012 and Chateau Les Croisille Divin 2011 from Cahors.

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