Errazuriz Aconcagua Valley Chardonnay 2013 is a great drink. I served it at the start of a lunch where we enjoyed some of Chile’s best reds, and it was still a stand out wine. Although it is 7 years old, it is fresh and clean as if it was a new wine. The flavours are pure and clean, the acid is thrilling. The finish is long. There is great texture on the palate. It isn’t Chablis, but it will appeal to lovers of Chablis.
I would drink the Errazuriz Chardonnay from now. But it is sealed in screwcap, and it’ll hang on for a long time yet. I drank Errazuriz Chardonnay with zucchini flowers at Scopri, and it was magic.
In 1870 by Don Maximiano Errazuriz founded his estate in Panquehue. At the time Errazuriz spanned 1730 acres and sat in unknown viticultural land. Cuttings imported from Europe populated the estate’s vineyards. Errzuriz’s spare-no-expense approach meant the estate had the reputation of making some of Chile’s best wine. Errazuriz is still with the original family. Eduardo Chadwick, one of Don Maximiano’s descendant, is now the sole owner. Eduardo is still focused on quality wines from estate fruit.
Errazuriz Aconcagua Valley Chardonnay 2013
“This a phenomenal white with sliced apple, papaya, and chalk with hints of slate. Turns to limes. Full body, with bright acidity and a racy acidity that goes on for minutes with the fruit. Dry austerity at the end gives it incredible character. This was fermented and aged in second and third year oak. Ten months. A triumph. A reductive structured style.”
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation.
Chile has had vines since the 1500s. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that they became a real player in the international wine market.
The climate here is near ideal, with consistently warm, dry weather. The Andes provides irrigation via snow melts. Proof of the idyllic terroir is the amount of French investment and know-how that has had it into Chile.
The top wines are generally Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet blends, and they are equal to great Bordeaux. But there is a whole range of magnificent wines to taste from the international varieties. They have made Carmenere a particular flagship after finding about half of their Merlot was actually Carmenere.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.