2019 was a little warmer than usual in the more continental parts of the country, while the coastal regions were close to the norm. Cool weather at flowering produced a crop that was 5-10% lower than average.
Carmenère sales are on the rise so we have replaced our Society-label merlot with this variety. It produces a round, fleshy and generously flavoured wine full of fruit. Its polar opposite is perhaps cabernet sauvignon from the Alto Maipo, which produces long and linear wines of great intensity of flavour. Our newly introduced Exhibition Alto Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon from the superb 2018 vintage is an excellent example of the style.
I have been waiting impatiently for Rhône varieties to appear as Colchagua, Maule and Itata have great climates for them. At last they are now beginning to arrive. Koyle’s new Cerro Basalto Garnatxa is a star. Another very special new garnacha will arrive from Undurraga later in the year. Cinsault and carignan from 70-year-old bush vines are appearing, having been blended into cheap southern wines before their great quality was fully recognised. More mourvèdre is on the way.
We have also bought some exciting wines from a new supplier called Altamana. They have made some lovely cool-climate floral malbecs from Maule and further south, which are fresher than the Argentine style. In Itata they have made a semillon from 100-year-old vines and an excellent sparkling wine.
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