Fabulous Wines of Chile Pinot Noir Tasting (and lunch!) today at the world famous Terroir Tribecca, an aptly chosen venue to showcase the specific terroir of Chile we learned about today from three key wineries: Ritual, Ventisquero, and Kingston Family winery.
The three presenters, Rodrigo Soto of Ritual, Felipe Tosso of Ventisquero, and Tim Kingston of Kingston Family VIneyards, really went out of their way to vividly present the unique terroir of their vineyards in Casablanca
The focus today was Pinot Noir – though Chile produces many varieties.
Rodrigo Soto of Ritual Winery located in Casablanca told us a great deal about how the special conditions in Casablanca – the soil and the cooling breeze that acts as a natural “air conditioner” helps ensure the production of high quality grapes with refreshing acidity despite the warm climate.
Felipe Tosso of Ventisquero personally drew me a little drawing representing the “open canopy” approach to wine growing that had recently been adapted. All three men explained that producers are continuing to learn and experiment with better ways of growing the vine.
Tim Kingston of Kingston Family Vineyards presented an interesting point of view from the perspective of an owner of a family business.
It was great to taste the Pinot Noir from these producers at different price points.
Kingston showcased its Alazan Pinot Noir 2016 ($38) with 8 months in French oak and raised in a congrete egg vat, as well as its Tobiano Pinot Noir 2016 ($24) also in French oak for 8 months from a soil of decomposed granite.
Rodrigo of Ritual showcased his Monster Block 2016 ($49.99) with 14 months in French oak, 30% new, along with its Ritual Pinot Noir 2016 selling for $19.99 with 11 months of French oak, also 30% new.
Felipe showed us his 2015 Tara Pinot Noir $40 from Calcareous soil, aged for 24 months in 5 – 7 year old barrels, as well as his Heru Pinot Noir 2015 ($40) with red clay from one hill in particular.
As I tasted the wine, I tried to think what country I might confuse it with if I was tasting it blind. That task was impossible – Chile has a definitive flavor profile that is unlike any other classic region. It is delicious and fresh, and always a great value.
Thanks to Gabe Sasso for discussing Chilean Pinot Noir from his perspective as a journalist, and to Wines of Chile Mary Beth Bentwood for putting this all together.
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