Virtually every wine region in Chile benefits from two critical geographical features of the country: proximity to the Pacific Ocean as well as proximity to the Andes mountain range. Although Chile extends almost 4,000 kilometres from north to south, the grape-growing regions are predominantly clustered in the river valleys that cut through the coastal mountain range in the centre of the country. The vineyards receive plenty of rainfall and an absence of fungal diseases makes for relatively carefree grape-growing. The towering Andes range that runs along Chile’s eastern border blocks wind and rain from the east, but more importantly, traps cool air from the Pacific. The result is that nighttime temperatures even in most of Chile’s warmest vineyards typically plunge into the teens. This diurnal variation enables Chile’s vineyards to produce grapes with healthy acidity, strong aromatic character and intense varietal flavours.
For decades, Chile has been an excellent source of user-friendly, fruit-driven wines, often at absurdly low prices. A stable political environment and vibrant economy have attracted foreign investment in the wine industry. Chile has benefitted from their association with large and established trading companies with powerful networks that have helped to raise the profile and expand distribution of Chilean wines in major export markets.
While Chile is a solid source of wonderful (if largely commercial-grade) wines, they have faced increasing competition in the under $20 range from Argentina, as well as Spain, Portugal and Australia. At the same time, a small but growing number of producers are attempting to capitalize on the country’s idyllic growing conditions by cutting vine yields and attempting to make more serious and concentrated Chilean wines that can compete on the world stage. Casa Marin in one such producer.
On offer this week is the 2013 Vinedos Lo Abarca No. 3 Garnacha-Syrah. This is the first crop of Grenache from this recently planted vineyard. For some unknown reason, a vineyard more often than not will produce outstanding fruit from the first harvest. The Grenache in this blend supports this phenomenon. Casa Marin continues to amaze – every one of their wines reviewed recently by Deschorades (the most revered wine journal in Chile) scored 90 points or better.
The 2013 Lo Abarca No. 3 Garnacha-Syrah is available for immediate delivery. We were only able to secure 30 cases of this extraordinary wine. To order, please call 416-463-4677 or email.