Viu Manent Chardonnay Reserva
WHY WE LOVE IT
- The grapes for this wine come from two different Colchagua Valley vineyards – The first is the Fundo San Carlos near Cunaco, and the second is in the Peor es Nada zone in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, which lends freshness, greater natural acidity, and minerality to the wine. The blocks average 24 years in age.
Varietal Composition: Chardonnay 94%, Viognier 6%.
Elaboration: The grapes were destemmed and crushed and pressed without maceration. The juice was drained from the press and decanted for 36–48 hours at 10ºC. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures controlled to 16º–20ºC using native and selected yeasts. Upon completion of fermentation, the wine remained on its lees for two months with weekly battonage (lees stirring) for better integration and to improve volume. The wine was lightly filtered before bottling.
Tasting Notes: Brilliant and light yellow in color. The nose is fresh, fruity, and expressive, with aromas that recall melons, yellow plums, mandarin oranges, and apricots. The palate is very juicy, intense, and well
After working as a wine merchant alongside his father and brother since the 1930’s, Miguel Viu Manent made the decision to branch out on his own in 1965, purchasing a historic vineyard and winery in Chile’s Colchagua Valley. The estate was and still is one of the most well-exposed sites in the region, and it included 150 hectares of pre-phylloxera massal selections from France.
This company provides us with wines we consider the best value wines in the country (see “Reserva line), forward/experimental options (see “Secreto” line), some of the most solid “under $20” varietal wines you’ll find anywhere in the world (see “Gran Reserva” line), site specific/terroir driven releases (see “Single Vineyard” wines), and most famously the iconic “Viu 1.” Malbec is clearly the house specialty here – Viu Manent was the first Chilean winery to bottle, label, and market Malbec, and they’ve for years been Chile’s Malbec leaders both in terms of accolades and quantity produced.
After nearly 100 years this firm is still family owned and operated (a rarity in Chile, especially for a winery of this size), all farming is certified sustainable, and two of Chile’s top names consult with the winery on a permanent basis – Roberto Pizarro (vineyard management) and Paul Hobbs (winemaking).