January 19, 2018

January Wine of the Month Club Tasting Notes

January, 2013vina-chocalan
Wine of the Month Club
Selections and tasting notes

Viña Chocalán has made a mission out of elevating Chilean wines to a level that will be recognized by the world as the equal of any.  They work toward this goal while maintaining a vision of sustainability and social responsibility.

The vineyard and winery is located in the Maipo Valley of Chile a mere 21 miles from the Pacific ocean.  Vines are planted at between 600 and 1,250 feet in elevation close to the Maipo River.  During the “maturity period” of the grapes daytime highs reach 82ºF and nighttime lows average 53ºF.  Average annual rainfall is only a bit over one foot.

The soils range from almost none over a solid bedrock on the hillsides to a mixture of granite and quartz over a sandy base at the foot of the neighboring mountain.  This infertile soil combined with low rainfall is actually an ideal scenario for grape production.  The stress experiences by the vines results in less fruit but the berries have more flavor and intensity.

Viña Chocalán averages about 75,000 cases annually, of which 80% is red and 20% is white.  From the standpoint of environmental responsibility, they bottle these wines in 70% recycled glass and have also been working for years to reduce the weight of the bottles thereby reducing the winery’s environmental footprint.

Viña Chocalán is rapidly becoming a player on the world stage of wine and the quality of these two wines reflects their commitment to the high standards they have set forth for themselves.

vina-chocalan-sauvignon-lgViña Chocalán
2011 Sauvignon Blanc
Maipo Valley, Chile

 Vinified from 100% Sauvignon Blanc from 18 year-old-vines grown in alluvial soils of sandy clay loam, this delightful wine has an alcohol content of 13.0%, a total acidity of 4.56 g/l and a residual sugar level of 0.83 g/l.

The grapes, which are subject to a morning mist and strong maritime influence due to proximity to the Pacific Ocean and Maipo River, were handpicked during the second week of March, 2011.

This wine is intensely aromatic and is bright yellow with green reflections.  It shows notes of citrus (particularly limes) and white peaches mixing with tropical fruits and followed by a smooth herbal finish.  It is very fresh on the palate, medium-bodied with rich acidity and a long finish.  Serve between 45 and 50ºF with seafood, cheese, oysters or salad.

Club price: $10.99 (Regular price: $12.99)

Viña Chocalánvina-chocalan-carmenere
2010 Carmènere
Maipo Valley, Chile

Composed of 85% Carmènere, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, this guy has some oomph!  It is made of grapes from 12-year-old vines that are grown in granitic, clay and loamy soil of medium depth where foggy mornings and a smooth breeze during the afternoon help to refresh the vines.

It has an alcohol content of 14.0%, a total acidity of 3.58 g/l and a residual sugar level of 2.43 g/l.  The grapes were hand-picked during the second week of May, 2010 and the must was initially fermented in stainless steel tanks.  Post-fermentation, 60% was aged for 8 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels while the remainder stayed in stainless.

The wine has a brilliant and deep ruby-red color.  Intense fruit aromas on the nose are confirmed on the palate along with mocha, tobacco, dark chocolate and black pepper.  It is medium-bodied with a pleasingly soft texture.  Serve around 62ºF with spicy stewed red meat, roast beef, grilled lamb or well-seasoned pork chops.

Club price: $10.99 (Regular price: $12.99)

To learn more about our Wine of the Month Club please click on this link:  Tinnell’s Wine of the Month Club

Adam Markham,
Beverage Manager
Tinnell’s Finer Foods

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