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Principal Memorias Red Blend is made from 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 15% Petit Verdot.
The image on the label represents the "spiral of life", a symbol that is found in all major ancient civilizations that represents the cycle of life and the everlasting evolution.
Memorias is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that includes Petit Verdot and Syrah, which was carefully crafted to achieve a perfect balance. It stands out for its great structure with soft and round tannins that will allow a complex evolution in the bottle.
Denomination of Origin: Maipo Andes Valley
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah and 15% Petit Verdot.
Vineyard altitude: 780 meters above sea level.
Soil: Alluvial/colluvial origin, clay loam.
Climate: Sub humid Mediterranean with huge influence of the Andes Mountain.
Total Acidity: 5.94 g/L
RS: 2.0 g/L
Pirque is the highest area with vineyards in Alto Maipo. And El Principal has its vineyards in the highest area of Pirque. Memoria is a kind of second house wine and in which the winemaker Gonzalo Guzmán has been working intensely in search of greater freshness. This must be the best
- Descorchados (November 2017, 93 pts
"Gonzalo Guzman Cassanello collaborated on El Principal's wines with Patrick Léon, the longtime managing director of Bordeaux's Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, who first came to Chile in the 1990s to work on Almaviva. In the ripe 2014 vintage, they blended a relatively high proportion of syrah and petit verdot (22 and 15 percent, respectively) with cabernet sauvignon, creating an intriguing take on Pirque. Its flavors hint at ripe strawberries and darker notes of wild blackberries, the sweetness of that fruit held in a clean, light and delicate frame."
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2019), 93 pts
The winery was named after the Picunche Chief Andetelmo, known as 'El Principal', master of the lands where the wintery at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Alto Maipo Valley is located today.
The winery is owned and operated by two families - Jochen Döhle and the Said-Handal family.
Viña El Principal was orifinally a partnership between Jorge Fontaine, owner of the estate, and the French winemaker Jean Paul Valette, former owner of the famous Premier Grand Cru Classé Chateau Pavie in Saint-Émilion. Their goal was to produce a top-quality range of red wines that fully reflected the Chilean soul and the Valette family's heritage and experience in making fine wines. The El Principal terroir, located at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Alto Maipo Valley was perfect for their project; its singular combination of climate, soil type, and altitude made ir ideal for producing wines with character, unique identity, and extraordinary quality.
Founded in 1992, Viña El Principal was originally a partnership between Jorge Fontaine, owner of the Hacienda El Principal, and the French winemaker Jean Paul Valette, former owner of the famous Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Pavie in Saint-Émilion.
Their goal was to produce a top-quality range of red wines that fully reflected the Chilean soul and the Valette family’s heritage and experience in making fine wines. The El Principal terroir, located at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Alto Maipo Valley (D.O Maipo Andes) was perfect for their project; its singular combination of climate, soil type, and altitude made it ideal for producing wines with character, unique identity, and extraordinary quality.
The partners selected 54 hectares of the property to plant Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere varieties. Ten years later, the first vintage of the winery’s icon, the 1999 El Principal, was successfully released earning the international recognition as one of the Ultra Premium Chilean wines and confirming the potential of Chile as a world-class denomination of origin.
Today, El Principal is a family-owned winery. German shipowner Jochen Döhle bought the winery in 2005 and later partnered with the renowned Chilean Said-Handal family, who acquired 50 percent of the ownership in 2013. From the beginning, Mr. Döhle has been determined to continue making high quality wines, and his strategy has included planting additional hectares, searching for new varieties, and investing in equipment and storage facilities. Together the two families have overseen the execution of this strategy while maintaining the tradition and distinct identity of its wines.
The renowned Bordeaux consultant Patrick Léon, who joined the Viña El Principal team in 2006, has been crucial in the winery’s purist approach to winemaking. His talent and unparalleled experience in producing high quality wines has established him as a consulting winemaker for some of the most prestigious wineries in the world.
Patrick was the Technical Manager of Château Lascombes Crus Classé in Margaux and Château Castera in Lesparre-Médoc, and he also spent two decades as the Managing Director for Baron Philippe de Rothschild, where he oversaw the company’s vineyards and winemaking facilities for Château Mouton Rothschild, Clerc Milon, Le Petit Mouton, Aile d’Argent, Opus One in California, Almaviva in Chile, Domaine de Lambert and Domaine de Baron’arques in the Languedoc, and Mouton Cadet in Bordeaux.
THE ANDETELMO ESTATE: A UNIQUE TERROIR
There are many factors that contribute to the uniqueness of El Principal wines, and one of the most important is its exceptional terroir. The Andetelmo Estate now consists of 90 hectares of vineyards in the Alto Maipo Valley (D.O Maipo Andes), at the foot of the Andes Mountains, 750 to 950 meters above sea level.
Geographical influences have generated a diversity of soil types that allow each grape variety to reach its finest expression and lend a particular character to the wines. The varied soils present a true mosaic of colluvial, alluvial, and gravel-cone collections and deposits. The hills have light-colored clay marbled with lime sediments, stone, and gravel, which allows for good drainage.
Furthermore, the mineral-rich waters of the Maipo River that flows through the vineyard also lend subtle complexity to the wines. The cooling effects of the Andean winds and the Humboldt Current create particular climate conditions and a broad daily temperature oscillation of more than 20ºC. This slows the ripening process and allows the grapes to develop intense fruit flavors with high concentrations of polyphenols, deep color, and ripe, elegant tannins.
El Principal wines are made exclusively with grapes grown at the Andetelmo Estate in the Alto Maipo Valley. The vineyard has been mapped into micro-zones that consider soil, altitude, solar exposure, and climate to identify the perfect blocks for producing the best quality grapes for each wine.
The grapes are harvested entirely by hand with controlled production and the sorting of clusters both in the field and again at the winery. The grapes are lifted to the top of the tanks to achieve gentle gravity-flow filling and thus avoid using pumps. The vinification process begins with a 5-day cold maceration at 8º–10ºC, followed by alcoholic fermentation, which lasts 8–14 days at temperatures that fluctuate between 28ºC and 30ºC using gentle manual pumpovers managed in accordance with the concentration and degree of ripeness of the grapes to ensure a gentle and controlled extraction.
This traditional Bordeaux vinification process and later ageing in French oak ensures the inimitable character of El Principal wines that reflect the elegance and identity of their terroir.
Viña El Principal's oenology develops starting with the vineyards. The wines are exclusively processed with grapes grown on the lands, where the vineyards are continually studied as to their physiology and their relation to the terroir, in order to identify and perfect the best plots and thus obtain top quality raw material. Harvesting is carried out entirely by hand, with controlled production and the sorting of clusters both in the field and later in the wine cellars. This is followed by a careful traditional Bordeaux vinification process and ageing in French oak, resulting in the inimitable character of these wines capable of reflecting the elegance and identity of the terroir.
The winemaking process starts with a harvesting entirely by hand and sectorized. Later, also by hand, in the wine cellar and on a vibrating table, the best clusters are selected before entering the de-stemmer. An optical selector is used to pick out the best fruit. The grapes are raised to the upper part of the tanks to achieve gravity flow filling and thus avoid the use of a pump. Later, cold maceration (between 8 and 10ºC) takes place for 5 days, followed by the start of the alcoholic fermentation which is prolonged for 8 to 14 days at a temperature fluctuating between 28ºC and 30ºC, with gentle manual remontage according to the concentration and maturation of the grapes. This ensures a gentle and controlled extraction.
Jada Strayts is made from Paso Robles 51% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petite Sirah, 13% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec.
One of the most challenging yet rewarding grapes to grow on the Jada Estate Vineyard, Merlot still dominates this blend at 51% of the volume. Bright cherry and plum with balanced barrel spice, black pepper, clove and dried tea leaves. Creamy, milk chocolate mouthfeel and refreshing acidity on the finish.
Strayts refers to the Straits of Messina, a body of water that separates Italy from the Sicily and the city from which they get their family name. For those literary scholars amongst you, it may have been the inspiration for the legend of Scylla and Charybdis, described by Homer in the Odyssey. No sea monsters or whirlpools here.
The Strayts is a Merlot-focused blend, using Merlot from one block in the Jada Estate Vineyard. The block encompasses elevation changes over 75 feet, as well as soil types ranging from calcareous to deep, clay loam. The 2017 vintage demanded multiple picks on this block, starting 9/14/2017 and ending 10/6/2017, to see proper maturity throughout. Fermentations in this blend ranged from 14 to 19 days using a combination of pump-overs and hand punch-downs. The blend is aged in mostly medium toast barrels to preserve delicate aromatics, while supporting the richness and spice of the Merlot. Aging for 15 months (31% 500L barrels, 69% 225L barrels) in 53% New French Oak, 47% Neutral Oak.
"The Merlot-dominated cuvée, the 2017 Strayts is a blend of 51% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petite Sirah, 13% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. Notes of black cherries, toasted spice, dried earth, underbrush, and graphite notes all flow to a medium-bodied, rounded, supple wine that has good tannins, outstanding balance, and a charming, character-filled style."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2019), 91 pts
The light hay coloring is loaded with greenish reflections. The fragrance is soft and complex, especially inviting with aromas hinting broom, chamomile and fresh fruit. The flavor is pleasantly tangy, full and very persistent.
Area of production: Monteu Roero
Fenocchio Roero Arneis is made from 100% Arneis
Vineyards area: 1.2 hectares (2.98 acres)
Altimetry: Hilly zone at around 300/350 meters a.s.l
Soil: calcareous,clay, soil of medium texture
Age of the vineyards: 10/15 years
Grape yield per hectare: 70 quintals
Harvest: Mid September
Vinification: The grapes are gently pressed and then the wine-must obtained is refrigerated in stainless steel vats to allow the lees to settle. After 24-36 hours the juice is separated from the lees and fermented at a controlled temperature. Bottling is done in sterile conditions. Aged in stainless steel tanks and matured in the bottle.
Tasting notes: the light hay coloring is loaded with greenish reflections. The fragrance is soft and complex, especially inviting with aromas hinting broom, chamomile and fresh fruit. The flavor is pleasantly tangy, full and very persistent.
Food Pairing: Great as an aperitif. Pairs nicely with saucy dishes white meats and grilled fish .
Serving temperature: Recommended serving temperature is around 10 - 12 degrees Celcius (52-56 degrees Fahrenheit)
Alcohol: Approx. 13-13,5% Vol
Total acidity: Approx. 5.5 – 5.8 g/L
Force Majeure estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
The Force Majeure estate Syrah is cultivated in a combination of the 8 soil types that exist in the vineyard, with most of it being planted in very steep, very rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils.
The estate Syrah typically exhibits a broad spectrum of black, blue and red fruits, dried herbs and jasmine, fennel, smoked meats and crushed rock along with very fine tannins, great length, balance and complexity.
AppellationRed Mountain Varietal(s) 100% Syrah
Soil type Very steep, rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils
Vinification 22% whole cluster, remainder destemmed. Fermented in concrete, open top and closed top stainless. ~25% new French oak for 18 months, mostly larger format (300L to 500L) Native yeast, cold soak up front Macerations up to 30 days; pumpovers and punch-downs 100% free run. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Production 500 (9-liter cases)
Looking at the 2018 Syrah Red Mountain Estate, which comes from the estate on Red Mountain, it saw a splash of Viognier and 15% stems, with the élevage in a mix of new and used French oak barrels. Revealing a dense purple hue as well as a powerful, full-bodied style, it offers gorgeous cassis and blackberry fruits interwoven with lots of rocky minerality, beef blood, smoked game, and chocolatey nuances. These carry to a full-bodied, concentrated, opulent Syrah that reminds me of a Ermitage Le Méal from the likes of Chapoutier (I pulled one from my cellar to compare) with its ripe, sexy, yet still structured and layered texture. This is a beautiful, world-class Syrah from Red Mountain that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for over a decade. -
Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Wolfberger Riesling Rangen de Thann is made from 100 percent Riesling.
Mineral, spicy, minty with some eucalyptus notes, tropical fruits, grapefruit. Balanced and exotic in the finish, with long lasting flavors.
The Rangen Grand Cru is located in Thann, deep in the south of Alsace. Its particular soil is made of volcano-clastic rocks that drink up the heat of the day and send it back out again at night. The composition of the soil allows the roots of the vines to drink deeply from the mineral-rich sub-soil. Its southern exposure has the advantage of refreshing, drying winds in case of dampness. The high slopes are quite steep, reaching 68% in some places, requiring that the harvest be done by abseiling or roping down. Perfect for aging, these wines will reveal even more qualities after several years in the cellar.
Pair with Serve with fish, seafood, sushi, sashimi, goat cheese, vegetarian food.
Flanagan Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The nose displays a pretty mix of violet, black fruits, orange blossom, and bergamot. On the palate the wine shows red and black current intermingled with mocha and earth notes. There is a ton of structure, and, at the same time, is very elegant. The texture feels “just right” with fine grained, supple, ripe tannins.
Lancel Creek Vineyard is perched above the tiny hamlet of Occidental on the remote Sonoma Coast. This secluded, two-acre site was prepared, planted, and is still tended by Ulises Valdez. The pale, off-white Goldridge soil provides just enough nutrients and moisture for these densely planted vines to ripen a small amount of intensely aromatic and flavorful Chardonnay. The vineyard faces the Pacific Ocean, a mere five miles to the west. The combined influence of the cold Pacific and the warming afternoon sun produces a wine of incredible richness and sublime balance.
Soil types: Goldridge, fine sandy loam.
Age of the vines: 15 years
Siegel Ketran Red Blend is made from 35% Syrah, 30% Petit Verdot, 25% Carmenere, 10% Cabernet Franc
Ketran is coming from the Mapuche Language and it means "plowed earth". In fact, Earth was plowed by fire from the volcanic acitivity. Ketran is a tribute to the volcanic soils that gave birth to the fantastic terroir of Los Lingues, located at the foothills of the “Cordillera de los Andes".
The wine is clean and bright in color.
The wine displays a very aromatic and elegant nose of ripe black fruit, prune and dried fig.
The mouthfeel is smooth and the length to the finish is quite exceptionnal, with sweet and fleshy tannins, balanced by a perfectly integrated acidity which gives the wine some freshness and emphasizes the presence of fruit and its ability to age.
Coming from the volcanic soils of Los Lingues, at the foothills of the Andes mountain.
The wine went through ML fermentation, it was then aged 24 months in French Oak barrels.
The wine has been slightly filtered before bottling.
"2014 is the second release of Siegel's top red wine, made from a four-way cuvée of Syrah, Petit Verdot, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc. Plush, spicy and smoothly oaked, with some tannic backbone and a glossy finish. Needs time. 2021-30"
- Tim Atkin MW (Chile 2019 Special Report), 94 pts
is made from 74% Malbec, 13% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot
Laird Jillians Red Blend is made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot
21 months in 75% French Oak and 25% American Oak (40% new and 60% neutral)
Vineyard: Cabernet Sauvignon (60% Mast Ranch + 40% Linda Vista Ranch), Syrah (100% Eagle Vines Ranch), Merlot (100% Big Ranch), Malbec (100% Flat Rock Ranch) and Petit Verdot (100% Flat Rock Ranch).
Appellation: Napa Valley
Our family has been proudly growing grapes in Napa Valley for two generations; this unique fusion of four varietals honors the youngest member of the third generation in our farming family, our daughter Jillian. This Left Bank Bordeaux-style blend with a twist of Rhone is structured, but easy to drink. Jillian’s is the only blend we make and it’s our most popular red wine.
Tasting Notes: Complex and precocious just like the real Jillian. Its deep, ruby red appearance accompanied by viscous legs leads the way to a seductive bouquet of toasted oak, lavender and ripe strawberries. A medium bodied palate, with delicate tannins and acidity, leads the way to tart dusty cherries and boysenberries that dance across your palate, while flavors of clove, vanilla and blueberry custard unfold on the finish.
"A ripe and lush style, with waves of cassis, plum sauce and açaí berry rolling through, coated with mocha and sweet spice notes and leading to a very polished finish. For the hedonist crowd. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2024. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. - James Molesworth"
- Wine Spectator Insider (December 24th 2019), 92 Points
Tasting Notes: Deep, dark ruby color, aromas of blue fruits, confectionery and subtle licorice characters, thick luscious palate with good structure and soft finish.
The Blend is 44% Rubired, 31% Durif and 25% Shiraz.
Rubired is a cross between Tinto Cao and Alicante Ganzin (which is itself a cross between Alicante Bouschet and Aramon Rupestris Ganzin). It is known for being particularly adapted to the hot climate and producing dark wines, as the color is not only coming from the grape's skin, but also from the grape juice itself. It was developed in 1958 by H.P. Olmo of the University of California Davis.
Durif, also known as Petite Sirah, is also a cross of two different grape varietals: Syrah and Peloursin. It was created by French botanist François Durif in 1860 while keeping Syrah and Peloursin plants under the same roof; it happened from a natural process called "cross-pollination." The grape itself is known for its very aromatic, plummy character.
Shiraz, which we all know for being the most recognized grape varietal of Australia, brings some minty, spicy and fruity characteristics to the wines.
Grapes are crushed and destemmed then placed in rotary fermenters where three rotations per day break up the cap and extract color and tannin. Commercial yeast is added for fermentation. The juice is pressed to stainless steel for malolactic fermentation, undergoes oak maturation for 9 months, then is stored in stainless steel.
Pairs well with BBQ lamb with roast vegetables.
Principal El Principal Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Syrah originating from old, ungrafted vines. Deep, intense ruby red, black fruit and cassis aromas, well-integrated woody notes, great structure and balance. Ripe and present tannins, elegant and sophisticated in the mouth, a pure expression of the terroir.
Denomination of Origin: Maipo Andes Valley
Vineyard altitude: 800 meters above sea level
Soil: Alluvial origin, Clay loam.
Climate: Sub humid Mediterranean with big influence of the Andes Mountains.
Thermal oscillation: Between 18º and 22ºC.
Viticulture system: Espalier
Pruning: Double Guyot
Yield 4.500 kg/ha
Cool maceration (8°C): 6 days.
Alcoholic fermentation: 6 days.
Post fermentative maceration: 16 days.
Barrel aging: 20 months, new French oak
Bottling: February 2016
Bottle aging: Minimum 2 year in the bottle before release to the market.
Total Acidity: 5.9 g/L
RS: 2 g/L
- Descorchados (November 2017), 95 pts
"This complex cuvée of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Syrah from some of the highest vineyards in Pirque is built to age in bottle. Aged in 75) new wood, it’s serious, concentrated yet beautifully balanced, with very fine tannins, some aromatic mocha oak, layers of dark fruit and a backbone of acidity. 2022-30"
- Tim Atkin (Chile 2018 Special Report), 94 pts
Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc
Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.
Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.
"Bright dark red. Aromas of dark berries, licorice and hot rocks. Plush, smooth and concentrated, with something distinctly old-fashioned about its flavors of black fruits and spices complicated by leather, minerals and warm stones. A good portion of these vines date back to the early 1970s." - Stephen Tanzer 92 Points
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
Sojourn Chardonnay Sangiacomo Vineyard is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The core of Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay is from the same vineyard source as the highly-acclaimed Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot noir wines. This wine features a combination of Clone 95 Chardonnay from Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard and Old Wente Clone from Sangiacomo Vella Ranch. The Roberts Road block, planted in 1998, provides minerality and vibrancy. The Old Wente Clone selection is known to produce distinctively small clusters, low yields, and results in elegant, complex wines that round out this blend. These ranches are perfectly suited for growing Chardonnay, with cool climates and well-draining soils.
Sojour Chardonnay is fresh and lively, fruit-forward with bright acidity, stone fruit, citrus and apple flavors that leave your mouth watering.