On October 31, I had the pleasure of joining Eduardo Chadwick and fellow industry professionals for lunch at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. Bosk restaurant catered the intimate meal and Eduardo spoke about the wines that we tasted from Erázuriz Vineyards.
The majority of the wines tasted at the luncheon were from a relatively new wine region –Aconcagua Costa. About 12 km from the cool Pacific Ocean, Chile is able to successfully grow and harvest in a cool-climate zone that is very well suited to white varieties, as well as Syrah and Pinot Noir.
Soils are predominately schist in metamorphic decomposition derived from the Coastal Mountain Range. As a result of Viña Errázuriz’s research and vineyards planted in the region, in September 2012, Aconcagua Costa was officially introduced as a new D.O. appellation for the Chilean wine map.
Aconcagua Costa Sauvignon Blanc, 2014
Chile is growing Sauvignon Blanc, and they’re doing it well.
This wine really challenged my knowledge and understanding of Chilean wine.
Done in a delicate, Sancerre style, this Sauvignon Blanc was crisp, refreshing and overall, quite pleasant. The fruit was not jammy or over-ripe and showcased the coastal terroir and regional minerality.
Pairing: Fresh oysters on the half shell with lemon and horseradish.
Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay, 2012
I am a big fan of Chardonnay, but mostly from an acclaimed cool-climate region. This was a pleasant surprise.
Made with natural, wild yeast, this wine maintained the delicate characteristics of the Chardonnay grape varietal. Faint expressions of new oak and a pleasant complexity. The creamy, buttery finish was exactly what I was hoping for.
Pairing: The Nova Scotia scallops with avocado, hon-shimeji mushrooms, crunchy rice and sesame ginger dressing was a phenomenal pairing with this Chardonnay.
Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012
Grape Varietal: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc.
Arboleda, meaning “a glove of trees” revolves around the concept of protection. Eduardo explained that the first vineyard planted in this region had a lot of native trees, which supported sustainability.
A more feminine expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, elegant tannins, apparent fruit on the palate and structured acidity. 2012 was a great red wine vintage in Chile and it shows through with this wine.
Pairing: Smoked lentil soup or smoked fish
Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve, 2011
Grape Varietal: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Carmenère, 8% Petite Verdot, 5% Malbec. For two consecutive years, named “The Best Wine of Chile” at the Annual Wines of Chile Awards.
Don Maximiano was an important figure in the Errazuriz history as he set out in search of remarkable terroir and chose to plant in the Valle de Aconcagua, where in 1870 he founded his winery.
Pairing: The herbs used on the rye crusted salmon complimented the earth and spice in the wine.
Grape Varietal: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenère, 15% Merlot, 7% Petite Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
This red wine blend is the result of a partnership between Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi. The goal was to reach the full potential of Chile’s wine country and to create a truly world-class wine.
Pairing: Rabbit, venison or wild boar ragu with Herbs de Provence.
Viñedo Chadwick, 2011
Grape Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
An honouring tribute to the late, Don Alfonso. In 1992 Eduardo convinced his father to convert land into vineyards at their home in the Alto Maipo Valley. Ten years later, the first vintage of Veñedo Chadwick (1999) was released to great success.
Great cellaring potential.
Pairing: Lamb Bolognese
The 2004 Berlin Tasting
The 2004 Berlin Tasting was created by Eduardo Chadwick out of frustration for the lack of global recognition of Chile’s tremendous climate and terroir to produce premium wines.
The blind tasting was designed to have some of the world’s most highly accredited wine critics taste the best of the 2000 vintage from Bordeaux and Tuscany alongside Chadwick’s premium wines.
Chadwick explains that he never intended to beat the industry leaders, but rather be compared positively alongside the stars.
“It was never meant as a contest. We never expected to take first place, but everything we knew about the quality of our wines was confirmed by the results.” – Eduardo Chadwick