For the final part of our Chilean adventure we’re staying in Casablanca and going to Casas del Bosque. This was not an estate I knew very much about when I travelled over there – but over the past 12 months of so it has really started to come to prominence. Whether this is the growing influence of Kiwi winemaker Grant Phelps or the work in the UK by importer ABS I’m not sure.
As well as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the calling card wines for Casas, which is perhaps not suprising given they have a Kiwi winemaker – but perhaps the most interesting bit for me what their plantings of Syrah. This is the variety that I think – once there are vines with some decent age – could have potential to produce some excellent wines in many places in Chile. I’m not sure it will have the commercial success that planting Pinot Noir, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon would have but it’s the thing most likely to attract us wine geeks.
As you might expect for a winery based in Casablanca the wines from Casablanca grapes are more interesting than the reds (Cabernet and Carmenere) that are grown in Maipo – it’s interesting that their top wine on show was a Cabernet and yet – for me – this is the variety that they achieve less with. I also wonder about having an ‘Icon’ wine – that is the flagbearer – for the estate not from their home region. I don’t think it conveys pride and belief in what they are doing in Casablanca – which is a shame because I think the wines here are genuinely interesting and have real potential to excel.
Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Textural and fresh. Lightly aromatic but with a nice level of concentration in the fruit. Quite well made.
Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Really concentrated, lovely textural style – ripe fruit but with relatively toned down aromatics. Lovely mouthfeel and with a long finish.
Pequenas Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Real concentration of fruit, lots of lovely texture and mouthfeel. Really fresh fruit and aromatic interest. Very good.
Reserva Chardonnay 2012
Quite textural and concentrated the fruit is bright with good acidity however the oak is a little dominant. Lots of lees character comes through on the finish.
Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2012
Long, concentrated and textural. Lots of fresh apple and citrus fruit. Quince and white peach. Lovely finish.
Reserva Pinot Noir 2012
Soft approachable Pinot, lovely fresh style. Very easy drinking indeed and good value.
Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2012
Soft red cherry, spicy notes. Fruit driven and pretty easy to drink. Soft open texture – alcohol a little warm. Quite immediately appealing though.
Pequenas Pinot Noir 2012
Quite structural but with vibrant cherry fruit. Some concentration and spice. Complex and multi-layered there is plenty of interest in this. Lovely mouthfeel. Very drinkable.
Gran Reserva Syrah 2011
Very fresh fruited, lots of lavender, blueberry and some herbal notes. Mouthfilling style with good length and concentration.
Pequenas Syrah 2012
Opaque colour, really black fruit hints of black olive and marzipan. Lots of bright fruit this is full bodied and intense. Mouthfilling and long on the finish with firm slightly chalky tannins.
Carmenere Reserva 2012
Spicy and soft – some aromatics. Lots of ripe berry fruit and black pepper. A little hot on the finish.
Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2012
Decent fruit with chunky tannins. Full fruited and jammy.
Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Clean, mouthfilling and pure fruit. Lots of blackcurrant with layers of mint, rosemary and thyme. Good length.
Gran Bosque 2011
Fragrant and perfumed – the tannins are lovely on this. Long in the mouth and aromatic with lots of length.