Viña San Pedro’s Chief Winemaker, Marco Puyo, was in town several weeks ago to show off his portfolio of wines from Chile. It was chilly, alright! With below freezing temperatures outside, the air temperature inside Puro Chile was downright frigid. In fact, it was probably the first time I’ve been to a tasting where we all complained that the reds were too cold. Thankfully, Marco gave us a warm welcome and, despite the less than perfect service temperatures, the wines showed quite well.
While we often think of Chilean wines as being a more modern phenomenon, Viña San Pedro was established back in 1865. Proud of its heritage, this founding year also finds its way onto the winery’s line of single vineyard wines, crafted to highlight the unique attributes of varying sites throughout the country.
The winery was named New World Winery of the Year in 2011 by Wine Enthusiast magazine and it’s easy to see why. The single vineyard wines were well made, showing lovely elegance and complexity at a very pleasing price point (SRP $18.00-19.00). The 1865 line-up includes Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Carménère and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Viña San Pedro 1865 Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Ledya Valley, Chile
The Sauvignon Blanc hails from a single vineyard in the Leyda Valley, located within the San Antonio Valley and situated near the sea, giving it a coastal climate. The wine’s pronounced nose provided herbal and lime aromas. It was bright and lively on the palate with lemon, zest, herbs and some minerality. While the fruit was evident, this wine was quite restrained and quite pretty.
Viña San Pedro 1865 Malbec 2010, Maule Valley, Chile
The Malbec was aged in French (95%) and American (5%) oak barrels for 12 months, with a 50-50 mix of old and new barrels. Hailing from the Maule Valley, these grapes are sourced from the southern portion of Chile’s Central Valley. Opaque purple in color, this wine offered aromas of herbs, blueberry/bramble fruit. On the palate, it was dry and full-bodied with medium+ acidity, dusty, medium tannins. Overall, it was nicely structured and lean, with fresh fruit and herbal notes.
Viña San Pedro 1865 Carménère 2009, Maule Valley, Chile
The Carménère also came from the Maule Valley and underwent the same aging regimen in oak barrels. It displayed notes of smoke, oak and plum on the nose. The dry palate had medium+ body, ripe tannins, and medium acidity, along with flavors of plum, black cherry, oak and smoke. The wine was elegant and lean.
Viña San Pedro 1865 Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Maipo Valley, Chile
While the Cabernet Sauvignon saw the same aging regimen as the other two reds, this wine was produced with fruit from the high elevation of the Alto Maipo within the Maipo Valley, which is further north than Maule. Aromas of blackberry and sweet oak greeted the nose. The full-bodied wine had firm tannins with cherry, black berry, herbal and meaty notes filling out the palate.
All of these wines are available locally at Puro Chile’s Puro Wine store at: 161 Grand St New York, NY 10013.
For a map of Chile's wine regions, please see the Wines of Chile website.