16 August, 2017


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I have just completed a superb visit to Viña Errázuriz in the Aconcagua Valley on early August. A trip that I have been looking forward to more than usual. The reason being as I had witnessed on my trip in March to the region, some amazing flavors and tannins in the vineyards. Of course, the trusted winemaking team of Francisco Baettig, Pedro Contreras and Wladimir Medel did not disappoint.

What a change from the more difficult 2016 vintage.
We are at the whim of the environment. 2016 type vintages are also exciting in a different sort of way. Let’s face it: we can all make wine, but when the climate throws a curve ball it is the way we react to that determines the final outcome. In 2016, on the spot decisions had to be made. These decisions are purely based on experience and not just winemaking experience, but also experience in that site on that date. Decisions have to be aggressive and precise and that is exactly what the team did in 2016.

Picking before the heavy rains on mid-April 2016 does not mean we would save the vintage as if we are forced to pick, it means that we had to pick when we didn’t expected to. Changes in winemaking process need to accommodate those needs, and in 2016, the team pulled off some real magic. You will be surprised in the wines you will eventually taste.

So on to 2017. MAX V vineyard was again a star, along with Viñedo Chadwick, of course, and Las Vertientes vineyard as well (editor’s note: this last vineyard grow Mediterranean and some alternative Bordeaux varieties, such as Garnacha, Syrah, Mourvedre, Marsanne, Roussane, Viognier, Malbec and Petit Verdot). As these vineyards are getting older, the grapes’ quality is really improving.

2017 could be one of the best vintages I have seen in Chile, and I will certainly be spreading the word in my travels around the wine regions of the new world over the next few months. Winemaking is a combination of nature, craft and technology. All of them came to bare in 2016 and it really paid off but in 2017 we really do have something special.

Nick Goldschmidt
Consultant for Viña Errázuriz

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