Emiliana are a reasonably large producer who are based in Colchagua, however for our visit we went to their visitor centre in Casablanca – which is easily reached from Santiago in around an hour (traffic permitting!). The journey there takes in a number of tunnels that go under the coastal mountain range, and having set off early morning in temperatures already in the mid 20’s we were pretty pleased our guide had sent us back to our hotel rooms to get jumpers. Casablanca is known as one of Chile’s cool climate regions – and whilst I’ve experienced ‘cool climate’ zones in other countries that didn’t appear to be all that different (a degree or two) from warmer zones the difference here was really quite telling.
As we arrived there was still a fair amount of mist about, and where there was sun it was quite warm- but the minute you stood in the shade the temperature dropped significantly to a goose bump level.
Emiliana was originally founded by the owners of Concha Y Toro (who remain on the boards of both companies) but unlike Cono Sur, Trivento of Argentina and California’s Fetzer it remains a completely separate entity. It is also one of the worlds largest organic wine producers – perhaps only rivalled by Fetzer.
All around the vineyards you can see evidence of their sustainable approach, between rows of vines there are loads of wild flowers growing, there are chickens running freely around the vines too with a mobile chicken coop to ensure they feed and manure the entire vineyard area equally. In Casablanca at least there are small allotments where the vineyard workers are trained in organic and biodynamic practices. Other animals such as llamas are kept onsite for manure whilst the biodynamic preparations are made from plants grown on the estate.
All wines produced are at least organic, whilst their two top wines, Coyam and Ge are biodynamic. Of course some biodynamic grapes go into other wines. The tasting itself was a little hurried in order to get to our next visit for lunch, so my notes are pretty brief. That said I chose to list quite a number of wines from Emiliana on my return on the basis that alongside Ventisquero these were wines and an estate that I particularly liked.
The Adobe range is Emiliana’s entry level.
Adobe Chardonnay 2013
Quite nicely fruity, touch of spritz, a touch of oak a little ozone type flavour too. 5% Sauvignon in the blend adds some freshness. Not bad at all.
Adobe Gewurztraminer 2013
Quite fresh and pure, lightly aromatic but I find it’s gone rather soapy and clumsy on the finish.
Adobe Malbec 2011
Soft, fresh brambly fruit. Maybe lacks a little intensity but for the money very good value.
Novas Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Quite fresh, some tropical fruit. Mineral and gooseberry notes. Quite focussed and long. Reasonable texture. Good.
Novas Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Really lovely aromas, leafy with blackcurrant fruit. Full bodied with big slightly chalky tannins this is lovely and really quite complex, fragrant and perfumed. This floats my boat. Lovely.
Novas Garnacha Syrah 2012
Soft, supple and fresh. Concentrated but light with red berry fruits. It’s an attractive wine, if not particularly obvious. Violets and fresh redcurrant fruit, the finish is complex and long. Delightful if a bit understated.
Signos de Origen Chardonnay, Rousanne, Marsanne, Viognier 2012
Wow, love this! Fresh citrus and peach fruit. Mouthfilling texture and then apricot flavours following through. Long on the finish, this is really complex and interesting. One of the most interesting whites I’ve tried.
Signos de Origen Pinot Noir 2012
Quite a reduced nose, lightly fruity but I think for the money I’d want it to do a bit more.
Signos de Origen Carmenere 2010
Quite ripe, firm chalky tannins lovely aromatic violet notes. Plump fruit and leafy character. Concentrated but fresh. Very good.
Signos de Origen Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Lovely dark, deep Cabernet, fresh acidity and intense fresh blackcurrant. Firm dry tannins, some green bell pepper and violet notes. Long finish.
38%Syrah, 31% Carmenere, 19% Merlot, 10% Cabernet, 1% Mourvedre, 1% Malbec
Lovely depth and concentration. Pure broad and ripe. Really complex and nicely made. Dark berry fruits, spice, black pepper, tobacco and cedar, firm but silky tannins. Very good.
48%Carmenere, 38% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon
Really deeply coloured, ripe blackberry fruit with plums and dark chocolate. Sweet spice and black pepper. The firm structure is nicely integrated.
Emiliana Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Really clever winemaking adding in 15% Gewurztraminer which gives is lots of really pretty perfumed fragrance. Honey, floral notes mouthfilling and concentrated. The acidity is all there and finish is long. Really quite smart.