Elqui 2016 Syrah Reserva
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
- The transversal Elqui Valley borders the Pacific Ocean to the West, the Atacama Desert to the North, and the Andes Mountains to the East. While it sits closer to the equator than any other fine wine region in Chile, evening winds blast through this valley 365 days a year bringing summer nighttime temperatures to as low as 40 degrees and creating electric natural acidity in the region’s grapes.
- Danish born and raised Steffan Jorgensen (previously Head Winemaker at Bergevin Lane in Walla Walla) and his wife Pamela Nunez (native to Chile and an experienced winemaker with stints across Chile’s top properties) make small lot varietal wines and blends from 20 acres of estate fruit planted in four separate vineyard sites.
- All wines are made with special attention to their mineral and earthy aspects and combine with Steffan’s style that delivers a broad/voluptuous style with deep acidity.
ABOUT THE WINE
- This single vineyard Syrah is sourced from Maiten Vineyard – A rocky, sandy ancient riverbed sitting 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.
- Most of Maiten Vineyard is planted to Carmenere, but Steffan Jorgensen has a 7 acre plateau planted to Syrah, which is the source of fruit for this wine. This plateau sits right in the path of the wind, which drives the chill factor during the night and really slows ripening.
- Soil here is similar to that in the basin only rockier – Grapes are just about the only thing able to grow successfully. The idea was to prune these vines to just one cluster per shoot, but the poor conditions create that situation on their own!
- Most of the site is planted to the seldom-found clone 100, which offers up massive umami components – Think mushrooms and aged meat, or just smell a glass of this stuff! Most Chilean wineries plant/use clone 174 which is forward/fruity and a completely different thing altogether.
Vintage: 2016 | Wine Type: Red Wine
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Origin: Chile | Appellation: Elqui Valley
Elaboration: Very long maturation period in the vineyards due to very cool nights which make for an oscillation (day/night swings) of more almost 40F. Fermentation takes places in stainless steel tanks with temperature controlled jackets to ensure certain temps are not exceeded. Very important to maintain fresh fruit characters in finished wines. Fermentation takes approx.. 12-14 days with total skin contact time of 3-4 weeks depending on lots.
Conservation: 100% Barrel aged with a mix of New, 1st and 2nd use French, American and Hungarian oak barrels for 24 months.
Winemaker: Steffan Jorgensen
“Hints of peat and graphite, quite aromatic and expressive. The aromas are dark, with black fruit and also some black olives. The palate is round and quite bold. This is harvested late because the region is pretty cold, and it is a blend of two vineyards at some 56 kilometers from the sea. This is juicy and satisfying, ripe and a little heady, without excess, kind of Washington-meets-northern Rhône. Quite impressive.” – Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate Issue 230
Production: 1100 cases | Alcohol: 15% | TA: 4.82 g/l | Residual Sugar: < 2 g/l | pH: 3.67
PRESS & POINTS
2014 – 91 points, Wine Advocate
2013 – 91 points, Wine Advocate
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