Elqui Syrah Reserva
WHY WE LOVE IT
- This single vineyard Syrah is sourced from Maiten Vineyard – A rocky, sandy ancient riverbed sitting 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.
- Most of Maiten Vineyard is planted to Carmenere, but Steffan Jorgensen has a 7 acre plateau planted to Syrah, which is the source of fruit for this wine.
- This plateau sits right in the path of the wind, which drives the chill factor during the night and really slows ripening.
- Soil here is similar to that in the basin only rockier – Grapes are just about the only thing able to grow successfully. The idea was to prune these vines to just one cluster per shoot, but the poor conditions create that situation on their own!
- Most of the site if planted to the seldom-found clone 100, which offers up massive umami components – Think mushrooms and aged meat, or just smell a glass of this stuff! Most Chilean wineries plant/use clone 174 which is forward/fruity and a completely different thing altogether.
Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
Elaboration: Very long maturation period in the vineyards due to very cool nights which make for an oscillation (day/night swings) of more almost 40F. Fermentation takes places in stainless steel tanks with temperature controlled jackets to ensure certain temps are not exceeded. Very important to maintain fresh fruit characters in finished wines. Fermentation takes approximately 12-14 days with total skin contact time of 3-4 weeks depending on lots. 100% barrel aged with a mix of new, 1st and 2nd use French, American and Hungarian oak barrels for 24 months.
Tasting Notes: “Showing strong varietal notes of smoky bacon, black olives and violets. It’s heady, ripe and voluptuous, very intense, with pungent olive flavors and a dense texture.” – Wine Advocate
2016 – 91 Wine Advocate
The Elqui is a transversal valley which borders the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Atacama Desert on the north, and the Andes Mountains to the east. Here, a cool breeze blows eastward across the Humboldt current, which flows from Antarctica north past Chile and Peru. These evening breezes cool the vineyards and lower night time temperatures almost 40 degrees, creating wonderful natural acidity in the grapes. The proximity to the Atacama, makes rain in this region extremely rare, extending the grape growing season by 6 weeks more than other regions of South America.
Steffan Jorgensen, who was previously chief winemaker at Bergevin Lane in Washington from 2006-2012 and his wife Pamela Nunez, a trained enologist from the prestigious University of Santiago, make small lot varietal wines and blends from 20 acres of estate fruit from their partner and vineyard owner’s property in 2 distinct locations in Elqui.
All wines are made with special attention to their minerality and earthy aspects and combine with Steffan’s style to deliver broad and voluptuous wines with great acidity.