In April, we released an exclusive parcel of Errazuriz’s extraordinary prestige wine from Aconcagua Costa, the stellar Pizarras Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the 2015 vintage. Errazuriz is an iconic Estate, which is now recognised as making some of the finest wines in the world. They are responsible for the stunning Sena, which has now cemented itself worldwide and was awarded 100 points in 2015, along with Chile’s first 100 point wine, the year before, Vinedo Chadwick 2014. The Aconcagua Vineyards reflect special terroir, which along with the incredible winemaking explains how they produce such staggeringly good wine. In 2016, the Aconcagua Costa Chardonnay has been awarded 98 points from James Suckling, while the Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir was awarded 99 points – a brilliant veneration of a superb project.
The Pizarras Chardonnay has been described by winemaker Franciso Bateig as ‘the best wine he has ever made’ Extraordinary praise from a winemaker responsible for Chile’s finest ever wines. It has been awarded a spectacular 98 points from James Suckling. Today’s special release price is only £210 per case of six in bond, exceptional for a 98 points wine! Even more appealing is the 2016 Errazuriz Pizarras Pinot Noir with 99 points by James Suckling. This has a special release price of £310 per case of six, unmissable quality for a wine which has the poise, structure, power and elegance of leading Burgundy.
Independently the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay compete with their Burgundian counter parts, we would place them in the ring with very good 1er Cru Burgundy producers and many gran Crus. This is possible as they straddle Chile’s wonderful natural climate, with that of the old world. Aconcagua’s distinctive climate provides excellent average sunshine during the growing season, providing warm, dry land, heating up during the day, while at the same time, cool air from the Pacific Ocean is pulled in to the west, acting as natural thermal heat sink. Erstwhile, this is reversed in the evening, as the land quickly cools, helping to create tremendous diurnal temperature. Moreover, the Antarctic ‘Humboldt Current’ flows up the west coast, acting along with daily breezes to reduce vine disease. This results in superb conditions, which allows Errazuriz to produce brilliant wine of superb quality, yet at a much lower cost base than leading 1er or Grand Cru plots, which have high land costs and require far more expansive labour costs. This explains the price differential and how Errazuriz can produce such charm here at the brilliant price. We sold out of our offer in minutes for the 2015 vintage.
The Estate’s winemaking is based on the mantra of their forefather, Don Maximiano who posited that “from the best land, the best wine”. This rings true for these two wines, which both derive from Errazuriz’s Aconcagua Costa Estate. The Estate spent years mapping the property in collaboration with the French Geologist Francoise Vannier-Petite. Working together they highlighted a set of vineyards that had a high component of metamorphic rock, with a high preponderance of the hugely desirable schist which is extremely rare in Chile. In fact, it is from the Spanish word for schist, or slates (pizarra) that the name of the wine derives.
The winemaking regime for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is Burgundian as are the wines themselves. The grapes are hand-picked, double-sorted, softly destemmed and crushed. After cold-soaking for 3-7 days, they are fermented with native yeasts to maximise the local character and complexity. The Pinot Noir’s plantings were taking from the 777 Pinot Noir clone, which were originally sourced from Morey St Denis, in the Cote d’Or. The winemaking is painstaking; a Chilean take on the bijou growers in France and correspondingly they only produced 500 cases of this Pinot Noir.
Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Chardonnay has a Price Over Points Ratio (POP) of 23, remarkable for a white of this quality. Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa has a POP of 33, in the Cote d’Or a wine of a similar score would be an order of magnitude higher. These two wines are world-beaters, which over deliver on all fronts!
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