The Wine Blog | Let’s learn about greek varietals, Philip S. Kampe | November 2019
Superstar Winemaker Alejandro Galaz Is At The Forefront of Winemaking in Chile by Philip S. Kampe
Vina Ventisquero winemaker Alejandro Galaz specializes in cool climate wines. His goal through the years is to produce wines that are a sincere expression of elegance, distinction and subtle expression of the varietal.
Alejandro expressed that cool climate winemaking is a challenge. The grapes are handpicked in the morning, where the best grapes are selected for a fourteen hour maceration. After fermentation, the grapes are aged on lees for a minimum of three months before battonage.
Alejandro is a very fortunate winemaker. Several years ago, Chile, had a true wine renaissance. High technology coupled with innovative winemakers has paid big dividends.
The world has been a stage for the wines from Chile. The isolated wine producing region is protected by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountains to the east. These two factors have transformed Chile into a rare wine producing country that has not seen measurable climate change.
The wines I sampled are from distinct winegrowing regions in Chile. The Casablanca Valley is not close to the sea. The varietals ripen slowly and are more like a typical vineyard elsewhere in the world. I sampled the HERU Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, 2017.
Contrasting locations, the Leyda Valley is only four miles from the Pacific Ocean, where morning fog and sea breezes cool the vines. The GREY Pinot Noir, Leyda Valley, 2018 was sampled.
Wines made in the Atacama Desert are in one of the driest places in the world. The sea meets the desert is the description Mr. Galaz evoked. The dry environment is home to the red grapes. Pinot Noir and Syrah, as well as home to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Vina Ventisquero produces three exceptional examples of wines from this plateau: TARA Red Wine 1/ Pinot Noir, Atacama 2016; TARA Red Wine 2/ Syrah, Atacama 2016 and TARA White Wine 1/ Chardonnay, Atacama 2016.
One of winemaker Alejanndro Galaz wines was selected as one of 250 wines with a score of 93 points or above by Robert Parkers ‘Matter of Taste’ committee. The event was held at the Ziegfield Ballroom in Manhattan this past weekend. (see photo)
Vina Ventisquero wines are well distributed in America and should be easy to find. All bottles are around $40, with the exception of 2017 Grey Pinot Noir, which retails close to $21.
Philip S. Kampe