Loma Larga Vineyards and Vi̱a El Principal РTwo to watch from Taste Chile!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I really enjoyed exploring the wines of Chile a couple of weeks ago.  I ended up tasting at a couple of tables that I had never had before, but ended up being the highlights of the tasting for me, thus warranting a separate post.

The two wineries are Loma Larga Vineyards, and Viña El Principal.  Decidedly different from each other, I eagerly anticipate their arrivals in our local market.

Loma Larga Vineyards

Loma Larga Vineyards is located in the Casablanca Valley and has been producing a variety of wines for the last ten years or so.  I had a chance to sample through all their offerings with their winemaker, Cedric Nicolle and found each the wines to be unique from almost all the others in the room.

Chardonnay 2009, Casablanca Valley – made with no malolactic fermentation, and spending 9-10 months on 30% new oak, there’s beautiful apple and pear with some nice herb hints.  Delicious!

Lomas Del Valle Chardonnay 2009 Casablanca Valley – Chablis style, very clean with great mineral and tight citrus.

Merlot 2008, Casablanca Valley – Beautiful green leaf and dark berry on the nose with full raspberry on the palate.  This will make a merlot lover out of me.

Cabernet Franc 2007, Casablanca Valley – This was my favorite of the line up, a unique wine, full of fresh cracked pepper and nice currants. You definitely get a sense of a Loire influence on this wine.  Mmm…

These wines will all apparently be $17-28 when they hit the shelf; in my mind this equals fantastic value for unique wines.

El Principal

El Principal is a partnership between the owner of Hacienda El Principal and the owner of Chateau Pavie in St. Emillion.  The wines are being grown at elevation in the Maipo Valley at the foot of the Andes Mountains.  The focus is on only three wines based on Cabernet and Carménère.

Calicanto 2008 Maipo Valley – A blend of 63% Cab and 37% Carménère, spice draws you in from the first sniff.  Beautiful mint and pepper followed by plum and currants.  Great value – $20

Memorias 2007 – 80% Cab and 20% Carm, this one have much more of a vegetal and peppery nose that is followed up by a whack of juicy cassis and some nice oak through the finish.  My fave of the three – $38

– Cab is upped to 83% on this one and 18 months on new oak pumps up a lovely earthy, toasty nose with exceptionally elegant dark plum and cherry with almost a floral hint.  Maybe this one is my favorite?  $70.

Both of these wineries were true highlights where lovely wine was shared by folks who are clearly committed to showing the diversity of terroir and varietals in Chile.  Look for these wines!

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