Last Week's Tasting Notes (10.18.19)
Tres Palacios Rosé of Cabernet Franc ($10.99 + 10% off Friday)
Cholqui Valley, Chile
From the producer:
"The Viña Tres Palacios winery and vineyards are located in the Cholqui sector of the Maipo Valley, 16 km (10 miles) from the city of Melipilla. Cholqui is a closed valley 9 km (5.6 miles) south of the Maipo River, although it is separated from it by a chain of hills that surrounds the area to the north, east, and south. The Horcon de Piedra Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the Coastal Mountain Range, lies toward the eastern end of the valley. The western side is open to the influence of the Pacific Ocean 30 km (25 miles) away, and cooling breezes from the sea and inter-mountain circulation refresh the vineyards in the summer. Tres Palacios is the only winery in the Cholqui Valley and all of the wines are estate produced.
A vibrant rosé of Cabernet Franc that is bursting with flavor. The Palacios family and winemaker Camilo Rahmer bring a zippy value from Maipo with the second vintage release of this wine."
I really like the balance of fruit and vegetal notes in this wine. It's not completely "savory," but you certainly know it's different from most other pink wines. It's clearly not from southern France! The unique flavor profile and the slight weight on the palate make this wine unusual, but very approachable. Particularly if you've not had Chilean rosé before, you should try this one. 10% off on Friday!
Clos des Fous Pour Ma Gueule Itata Blend ($15.99)
Itata Valley, Chile
From the distributor:
"Clos des Fous was founded in 2008 by Pedro Parra, Francois Massoc, Paco Leyton and Albert Cussen. The four friends were tired of hearing that Chilean wine was all boring, industrial, green and overripe so they set out in search of the Dark Side of the Moon. Francois and Pedro are longtime friends, akin to brothers, and both have spent much time abroad making wine and working vineyards in Europe. Pedro has a Masters degree in precision agriculture and a Ph.D. for his work with terroir, and currently consults as a terroir specialist around the globe in Argentina, Oregon, Italy, France, Spain, Georgia, Croatia and beyond working with world renowned vignerons like Jean Marc Roulot.
The Clos des Fous philosophy is to produce exciting wines from grapes grown in extreme terroir with minimal intervention in the winery. They own and manage vineyards in Malleco, Guarilihue, Alto Cahapoal and Western Aconcagua, which allows them to produce a variety of wines and work with multiple iterations of Pinot Noir, Cinsault, País, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Riesling at their winery in Cauquenes, Maule. This is one of Chile’s most innovative, inspiring and authentic wineries, producing some of the most exciting wines in South America.
76% Cinsault, 16% Pais, 8% Carignan. Sourced from multiple small vineyards from vines that average 65 years of age, grown in granite soils. Farmed lutte raisonée. After a 10-day cold soak, the wine was made in concrete; aged on the lees for 12 months and bottled lightly filtered."
This wine is one of the ones that I was most excited to get in the store. I think it's fantastic value, but more than that, I think it's a beautiful, rustic expression of Chilean winemaking. There is bright red fruit, a darker undertone, and a balance of earthiness.
"Lutte raisonée" is a French term that describes a method of farming that eschews chemical intervention in the vineyards, except when absolutely necessary, and encourages bio-diversity and the use of cover crops and natural fertilizer.