Richard Mark James' wine & travel blog
Buy my French wine e-magazine (click there - updated Sept 2016) on Amazon for £3.76/$4.99/€4.44/¥512/Ca$6.51/Au$6.62 (or £4 emailed as a PDF) including Languedoc, Cahors, Champagne, Chablis, Alsace. Other special supplements and guides: English wine guide £3.50, Cava guide £3, Slovenia & Croatia, Portugal, Argentina (follow links for more info and payment). Pay by card with PayPal: click here for more about card payments using PayPal, general 'terms & conditions', and your privacy.

29 March 2012

San Antonio, Chile: Casa Marín & Matetic Vineyards

Felipe and Maria Luz Marin
Knowing how much it amuses me to create a nice little theme (sad and obsessive, moi)... which in this case cunningly revolves around a couple of great wineries found in Chile's San Antonio Valley: Casa Marín and Matetic Vineyards. This "cool-climate" coastal region lies to the south of the perhaps better known (or longer established at least) Casablanca Valley and (south)west of the country's lively capital Santiago.
Click here to read what I said about / tasted from Casa Marín back in 2007 (scroll down quite a bit), where you'll find lots more on Chile (e.g. De Martino, Ventisquero) too. I rated their wines well then and wasn't disappointed when I came across them again at a Wines of Chile trade show last year, where founder/winemaker Mariluz Marín's son Felipe, joint-winemaker and vineyard manager, was holding the vinous fort. Their vineyards snuggle up against the village of Lo Abarca close to the Pacific, whose influence definitely comes through via the cooler-climate varieties they've planted here and resulting quite delicate wines. The £15+ price-tag is the approx retail quoted by London importer Mentzendorff & Co. putting Marín up there among Chile's 'aspirational' boutique wineries. More info @ www.casamarin.cl

This first wine was previously featured in this Pinot Noir report posted in Oct 2011: 
Lo Abarca Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007 (14.5% alc) - delicate aromatic "sweet/sour/savoury" nose, tangy vs ripe fruit palate with maturing tones, quite weighty but balanced alcohol, attractive and classy meaty vs perfumed finish.
Miramar Vineyard Riesling 2010 (12.5%) - racy and floral with lime fruit and mineral bite, attractive Riesling style showing crisp and juicy vs oily touches.
Estero Vineyard Sauvignon Gris 2010 (13.5%) - a relation to Sauv blanc probably originally shipped over mixed in with SB cuttings by mistake, although a wise move in the end. Grassy green pepper notes vs more exotic white peach, rich and concentrated with long punchy vs steely finish. Wow. Lovely dry white wine.
Casona Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2011 (13%) - very aromatic with flowery lychee tones, quite crisp and juicy with exotic perfumed fruit, again restrained and refreshing style.

Matetic Vineyards is described as a "modern winery pioneering organic and biodynamic viticulture in the cool coastal region of San Antonio", so obviously a breezy and slightly hippy neighbour of Marin's. They're also one of the best producers of allegedly the next-best-thing-in-Chile Syrah variety - follow link below and you'll understand my slightly cynical stance on that one - and have been doing so for a few years actually. Same could be said for Pinot, without the cynicism; well, planted in what appear to be suitable areas like this anyway. I've now added notes on one of their aromatic whites and a red blend after wines made from the latterly glossed over varieties. Prices are approx retail quoted by their London importer Armit Wines. Matetic has an on-site hotel and restaurant by the looks of their site: mateticvineyards.com, just in case you ever end up in that neck of the woods!

Previously featured in this Pinot Noir report posted in Oct 2011:
Corralillo Pinot Noir 2010 (14.5%) - Rich cherry fruit with wilder edges, perfumed and intense; light grip and lively acidity vs a bit of oomph and concentrated. £14
EQ Pinot Noir 2009 (14.5%) - Touch wilder and gamier still, more intense "s/s" profile too with sweet floral fruit, a little more oak textured but well-integrated, powerful and tasty finish. £18
Posted back in Sept 2011 in this Syrah/Shiraz report:
‘Corralillo’ Syrah 2009 (14.5%) - fairly firm and tight vs pretty concentrated with sweet vs peppery profile, black cherry and plum fruit underneath; again well balanced and stylish. £14.30
Syrah 2008 (14%) - wild edged with spicy black cherry and berry, punchy and grippy vs lovely fruit, has more new oak but not over the top. £37
‘EQ’ Syrah 2010 (14%) - smoky bacon tones layered with spicy black fruits, nice tannins and weight, a tad over-oaked perhaps but it’s quite concentrated and has good depth of fruit. £15+
Tasting note on their top-notch 2004 EQ Syrah here (scroll down to WOC Awards 2006).
2008 Corralillo Winemakers Blend (Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Syrah) - gamey nose with savoury edges vs livelier spicy berry, quite lush and concentrated with nice tannins and 'sweet/savoury' finish. Very good. £10-£15
2011 Gewurztraminer - lychee and pineapple on the nose, more mineral on the palate, a little dilute perhaps but it's elegant and crisp.

No comments:

Post a Comment