As wine connoisseurship evolves, I look toward developing ways to express the aspects of wine I love the most. I recognize that wine is a product of nature and science; my goal is as natural as can be: to help make the connection between joy of taste and the bountiful pleasures of life.”

Friday, October 23, 2009

foundation,motivation and innovation

For years, like Australia in many ways,. Chilean wines have been another timely stepping stone that’s assisted the masses in their appreciation for wine en general & helped to grow awareness and connoisseurship. In this moment, few are aware of what im firsthand witness to, which is, this new and exciting wave of wines from this country that have yet to be fully acknowledged and recognized. The wines are certainly of quality and for the first time uniqueness, individuality, and most importantly, taste of place have taken the front burner as this new generation of grandsons and daughters take the helm and make the decisions not only about the physicality of the agricultural and vinification processes but moreover, these young men and women represent a sliver of what is emerging as a new worldwide renaissance in winemaking and farming where what matters are the people in the process and the attentiveness of their midwifery. Manipulation as it relates to wine is working its way out of Chile and is finally being replaced by the new world order of experimentation and adaptation to the rhythms of the earth, the season, the heat, the wind and the rain. Sharing of ideas and best practices are beginning to bridge and unite the valleys and interior meso-regions and alongside this evolution of philosophical and ideological framework, the finished wines are more about stability, complexity and finesse.

A good example and reference point to this thinking is clearly illustrated in the cellars of the collectors nationwide. If today you were to raid the cellars of 20 thousand wine aficionados across North America, I will bet you that you could count the single bottles of Chilean wines laying vertical on your hands and toes. Relative to the legends, the Bordeaux, the Burgundy, the Alsace and the the Napa’s that would comprise the majority, in my guttural estimation you would be hard pressed to find Chilean wines being honored in this way. The question arises as to why yet while I don’t claim to have the ultimate insight, considering my experience both in tasting over the years and in conversation with other connoisseurs and devotees Chilean wines, as ive said before have been mass appeal wines and with only a few exceptions, have been fashioned to yield wines geared toward early consumption. Wines that are generally speaking front loaded with opulent and overt fruit aromas and flavors, often lacking finesse but engineered to rest on the laurels of richness, and the to target the timeless sensory appeal of mouth coating, almost syrupy, cranny filling, and swaths of sweet fruit. For the novice and for the sleepwalking wine consumer this approach has raised Chile from tree top night marauder to a visible bleep on the radar but since its arrival and modern presence in the north American wine scene, little has been done or has changed to impact or alter the impression these wines made in their early years. That is of course until now.

As an uphill battle is seen as an opportunity for few which paradoxiclly in turn eventually and ultimately benefit the masses of the unknowing and non believers, im telling you that now is the time to begin considering Chile as a viable force in the worldwide wine scene. Carignan and other never seen before alternative varietals are born with a new face that bridges the southern hemispheres rightous values and virtues of luscious ripe fruit power and elegance along with up an coming coastal areas just north of glacial ice fields that experience lunar-like diurnal temperature variances illustrate just two examples among many that represent this new breed of wines, and most importantly a new mentality of what is and what can be created from this vitis wonderland.

If you are interested you are good. If you are not and you are a lover of the grape, you might want to reconsider my angle. Despite what has been your experience, which may require some undoing on your own part, believe me when I say that there are brilliant, world class, distinctive wines being born of Chilean soils and souls that are not only prepared to deliver spontaneous pleasure but also will, if allowed and given the opportunity, provide you and your loved ones with a new musical scale of flavor packed notes to explore and a un paralled value that brings pure pleasure into focus. Now is the time to break moulds, now is the time to be open minded and be a part of the revolution. This time around…it will not be televised…there are no cables, no antennae, and no mysteries. Its pure, its true and its there for the taking.

Age worthy and a few (New Breed) wines of note:
Santa Rita,Sauvignon Blanc, “Floresta” Leyda, Chile 2008
Ocio, Pinot Noir, Bio Bio Valley, Chile 2007
Matetic, Syrah, “Corralillo” San Antonio, Chile 2007
Loma Larga, “Rapsodia” Proprietary Blend, Casablanca Valley, Chile 2007
J.bouchon, “Mingre” Proprietary Blend, Maule Valley, Chile 2007
D. Martino, “Las Cruces”, Cachapol,Chile 2008
Valdeviso, Malbec, Lontue Valley, Chile 2007

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