Ventisquero is quite a large producer of wines, but they fly somewhat under the radar in the UK thanks to their tactic of selling their entry level wines in the supermarkets under a completely different label – Yali. Yet despite their relative size they still have just one winery and own all of their own vineyards -nothing is bought in at all. This gives them huge advantages in that they have total control over all aspects of their production from planting through to shipping. In a country whose high quality wine production is perhaps still in its infancy to some degree this gives them massive flexibility and makes it far easier to try something a little different.
The winery itself is located in the coastal area of the Maipo valley, not that far from Malpilla where Chocolan are situated but in a place where there is even less between them and the Pacific. In addition there are vineyards situated in Apalta where the grapes for some brilliant red wines, made in partnership with John Duval are made, Leyda, Rapel, Casablanca and another area of Colchagua.
Right from the off I was impressed by the wines, I didn’t really want to be and they were not at all what I expected – but the truth is that of all the wineries I visited this is the one that perhaps made me sit up and take note across the board the most. It started relatively well but not outstandingly and just built and built as we tasted through the wines.
Ventisquero Classico Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Colchagua
Bright and crisp. Dry relatively light in flavour but clean and with pretty fragrance. Fresh on the finish. Not bad at all.
Ventisquero Classico Merlot 2013, Colchagua
Clean with lovely freshness, quite light in style again. My notes keep repeating the word fresh here – not just acidity fresh but the fruit has a freshness rather than an over ripe or cooked aroma. Quite good.
Ventisquero Reserva Pinot Grigio 2013, Rapel
Bright fresh and clean, a bit of citrus and a hint of floral. Some texture and interest. Quite drinkable and immediately appealing.
Ventisquero Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Maipo
Crisp acidity, very fresh fruit – ripe but not overblown. A touch short and sappy but pretty drinkable. Lacks maybe a bit of depth but this was served pretty cool – a good thing to do with Chilean wine.
Ventisquero Grey Pinot Noir 2012, Leyda
Quite a reduced nose but with spicy crunchy fruit with good freshness. Amazingly the vines for this wine are still pretty young and this is a wine that is only going to get better in future vintages.
Ventisquero Grey Glacier Blend, Apalta
A blend of Garnacha, Carignan and Mourvedre. It has a lovely perfumed nose – fresh and fragrant with bright crisp fruit. It’s long and concentrated with good complexity. Now we’re talking!
Ventisquero Grey Syrah 2011, Apalta
A developing nose, spicy with rich fruit, good acidity and yet full bodied. This is long on the finish. It’s big but with perfume and complexity. It’s very well made wine at a really very decent price.
Ventisquero Heru Pinot Noir 2011, Casablanca
Crisp and fresh it’s youthful still. Pure and focussed on the nose it’s quite linear in style. Lovely crunchy red fruits, great freshness and a long finish.
Ventisquero Vertice 2009, Apalta
51% Carmenere, 49% Syrah from a single block in the Apalta vineyard and made in partnership with John Duval. Quite a beguiling nose, full bodied and vibrant with good texture this has firm fine grained tannins. It’s long in the mouth with freshness and concentration. It really has a great deal going for it. Likes this a lot.
Ventisquero Enclave 2010, Pirque – Maipo Alto
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Carmenere, 2% Cabernet Franc. Quite fragrant and bright. It has good length and concentration. It’s tight and a little closed but with lovely tannin structure and depth. Personally I preferred the Vertice but it would be really interesting to see how this develops over time.
The three wines made in partnership with John Duval are Vertice, Enclave and the 100% Syrah Pangea which is made from a single block in the Apalta vineyard that we visited. Unfortunately we were not able to taste this on this occasion – I hope to get the opportunity to taste this sometime this year.