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August 03, 2017

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2016

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Errazuriz know how to make great wine, arguably the best in Chile, certainly some of the best in the world. They are responsible for the stunning Sena, which has now cemented itself worldwide and Chile’s first 100 point wine, Vinedo Chadwick 2014. They are also responsible for a swashbuckling single varietal, their Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir. We released the 2015 last year which proved hugely popular. As such, we are delighted to release their 2016 which has already been awarded 94 points from James Suckling, who says ‘The aromas in this pinot are fantastic with flowers, citrus, stone and mineral. Medium body, fine tannins and a bright finish.’ Moreover, it has also been awarded 93 points from Luis Gutierrez of the Wine Advocate, who says the ‘palate is explosive…really elegant.’ 

James Suckling says Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir is ‘Excellent value for the quality’. It is, priced at £11.25 in bond or £16 including duty and VAT, this is as good as it gets for a Pinot Noir under £20, in fact, one would be happy to pay £30 a bottle or more. The Wine Advocate Price Over Points score is scandalous, I am not sure there is a wine with a lower POP score, a staggering 10. By way of comparison, Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St.Jacques averages 93 points, with an average POP score of 295. Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2016 puts Village level Red Burgundy to the sword and gives most 1er Cru a run for their money, yet priced as a generic Bourgogne. This is highly recommended, a must buy.

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir is a special offering of a new terroir-driven Pinot Noir from the Manzanar vineyard on the Aconcagua coast. Don Maximiano’s mantra, “from the best land, the best wine”, still rings true: this Pinot Noir is grown in a cool climate on poor soils, just twelve kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. The Aconcagua valley, initially thought to be too hot and dry to produce wine grapes, is now home to the Seña, and regarded as one of the finest wine-producing areas in the country. However, normally it is host to hardier varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carmenère – and it is a testament to Errazuriz’ expertise that the terroir for Pinot Noir has been recognised on the coast. As the intense heat inland rises upwards, cooler air from the Pacific Ocean, chilled by the Antarctic ‘Humboldt Current’, creates mists that temper the vineyards to a reasonable temperature. Therefore, struggling to achieve ripeness, and blessed by rolling ocean breezes, the wine commands incredible poise and structure.

In a winemaking regime which any Burgundian would be proud of, the grapes for this Pinot Noir 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, left in contact with the skins for 12-20 days and aged for twelve months in French oak. This process results in a light, precise, and beautifully smooth red with fragrant red and black cherry fruit, perfect for drinking now. Pinot Noir is renowned for its high prices when it is done right, by a leading producer. The unique conditions found by Errazuriz when combined with their winemaking savoir-faire, results in a superb new world Pinot Noir, which combines much of the Old World’s balance, minerality and elegance at a price point which would be near impossible to create in the Cote d’Or. The value for money here is ludicrous!

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2016, 12×75 – £135 IB

93 Points, Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate
I caught the 2016 Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir very shortly after bottling. 2016 was a challenging vintage, but for earlier ripening varieties it resulted in wines of outstanding vivacity, tension and character. The only significant change introduced with this vintage was that some 10% of the wine spent the élevage time in egg-shaped concrete vats. The rest aged in French barriques, mostly used, for 11 months. There are some iron and beef blood aromas with some more floral aromas, obviously young and primary. The palate is explosive, with only 13% alcohol and sharp texture and acidity, with very tasty flavors in the long finish. There is a chalky sensation in the tannins, which are very fine-grained. There is no sweetness whatsoever, and the fruit is bright. Really elegant. 19,474 bottles were filled in February 2017.

94 Points, James Suckling
The aromas in this pinot are fantastic with flowers, citrus, stone and mineral. Medium body, fine tannins and a bright finish. Drink now.

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