7 November, 2018

LAS PIZARRAS CHARDONNAY 2017: THE BEST CHILEAN WINE BY ROBERT PARKER, WITH 98 POINTS

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In its latest Chile report, the prestigious publication awarded with unprecedented 98 points the 2017 vintage of Las Pizarras Chardonnay, ranking all alone in the first place among all wines tasted –both reds and whites- and rising as the Best Chilean Wine. This is the first time in Robert Parker’s history that a Chilean wine achieves 98 points, an acknowledgement that acquires even greater importance, as it is a white wine.

This is hands down the best vintage of Las Pizarras and the best Chardonnay I’ve ever tasted from Chile. It’s amazing how this wine has developed in only four vintages (…) It’s awesome beyond belief! Viña Errázuriz produces some of the best wines from Chile and surely one world-class white—the Chardonnay Las Pizarras, a true icon and sought-after wine that has been made in only four vintages. Bravo!

Eduardo Chadwick, Viña Errázuriz’s President, commented: “As a team, we receive this recognition sincerely proud and with the deepest satisfaction, as it is the confirmation of a great bet we placed over the Aconcagua Costa appellation that allowed us create what today is considered the best wine from Chile.”

Gutiérrez also highlighted the 2016 vintage for Viña Errázuriz’s top red wines: “2017 seems to have produced even fresher whites, while 2016 seems to perfectly fit the style of freshness and elegance they took some years ago (…) The quality of the wines from Errázuriz is very high, and they are extremely reliable. Their Pizarras Chardonnay from the pizarra(slate) soils in Aconcagua Costa is becoming one of the finest wines in the country. It leads the hierarchy in this report with its 2017 vintage. A true icon and sought-after wine that has been made in only four vintages.”

Viña Errázuriz consolidates as Chile’s quality leader by Robert Parker, accomplishing outstanding scores for its wines Don Maximiano –the winery’s flagship wine-, Kai, La Cumbre and the Aconcagua Costa range.

Don Maximiano 2016, 93 points: “It’s an ultra-classical Aconcagua Cabernet-based blend with good ripeness while keeping the freshness, and it has generous oak that does not overwhelm but makes the wine softer and spicier. It has some fine-grained, slightly dusty tannins. The very classical label is very coherent with an updated classical blend.”

Kai 2016, 92 points: “They want to show the maximum potential of Carmenere in the 2016 Kai, which is from very stony soils in Aconcagua and contains some 7% Petit Verdot. It has some cereal-like aromas and a lactic and leafy touch. This is still in a fuller, more classical Panquehue style, slowly being refreshed through the years and getting closer to the more modern and fresh house style of other ranges. The palate is medium to full-bodied.”

La Cumbre 2016, 93 points: “Their top Syrah, the 2016 La Cumbre, is produced with grapes from the interior, with a touch of the cooler Aconcagua Costa. Winemaker Francisco “Pancho” Baettig has been working to reduce the alcohol and the oak, removing the sweet fruit sensation, but it’s still a more classical style, more generously oaked, more fruit-forward and slightly riper but without excess.”

Villa Don Maximiano 2016, 91 points: “A new red blend and second wine from the same terroir as Don Maximiano, the 2016 La Villa de Don Maximiano is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot, 20% Malbec and 15% Cabernet Franc. It’s a very classical Bordeaux blend in the style of Don Maximiano, with a pungent palate and produced in a fresh style from the warmer vineyard. 10,000 bottles produced.”

Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2017, 94 points: “As with the Chardonnay, the 2017 Aconcagua Costa “Las Pizarras” Pinot Noir is also fresher and sharper than the 2016 I tasted next to it, despite the year being somewhat warmer. This feels very young and fruit-driven, open, aromatic, exuberant.”

Las Pizarras Chardonnay 2017, 98 points: “Really fascinating, and it’s even sharper, more restrained and with higher acidity than the 2016 that I tasted next to it. Winemaker Francisco “Pancho” Baettig is really pushing the wine to the limits —harvesting early and with more concentration and structure achieved through lower yields, which provides depth and complexity. This is really young and austere (…) it’s pure, mineral, long, precise like a laser cut, symmetric and chiseled. Even if it’s sharp and citrusy, the palate has more volume and depth, and some nutty notes appear after some time (…) Great length. It’s a monumental mineral white, with the coastal freshness and the slate tastiness.”

Aconcagua Costa Chardonnay 2017, 93 points: “The truly excellent 2017 Aconcagua Costa Chardonnay is a dry, austere and mineral cool-climate Chardonnay with a sharp palate, chiseled flavors and nice texture. The palate is dry, serious and mineral, with no sweetness whatsoever. It seems like the 2017s represent a step up in precision when it comes to the Chardonnays from Errázuriz. Superb! Getting closer to the already iconic Las Pizarras.”

Aconcagua Costa Syrah 2016, 93 points: “An elegant and fresh cool-climate Syrah with subtle varietal aromas and an earthy touch. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and elegant minerality. I think 2016 worked very well for the reds here. This feels more Northern Rhône-like, with a touch of incense and smoky balsam. Nicely structured with good acidity.”

Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2017, 92 points: “It has moderate alcohol, and it’s a restrained and serious style of Pinot Noir, with subtle aromas, clean and tasty flavors, good complexity and a layered structure.”

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