Viu Manent Syrah “Single Vineyard” El Olivar Alto
WHY WE LOVE IT
- The wines in the Single-Vineyard series are extraordinary examples of the definition of their region and variety, which contributes to the complexity and personality of each wine.
- These are small productions made with the finest Viu Manent grapes from selected blocks of their 3 Colchagua Valley vineyards.
- Controlled yields and very ripe, concentrated hand-picked fruit give rise to these wines of outstanding characteristics that are aged for 14–18 months in French oak barrels.
- El Olivar, located near the town of Peralillo in the Colchagua Valley. The plantation has an average age of 14 years.
Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
Elaboration: The first selection of the grapes took place in the vineyard, and only the bunches in optimal condition were picked. The grapes were then destemmed and crushed into a tank, where they underwent a 6-day pre-fermentation cold soak at 8º–10ºC for greater extraction of color and aromas. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 26º–28ºC with native and selected yeasts and 4 very short pumpovers per day, ending with a 1-week post-fermentation maceration. Malolactic fermentation took place naturally in barrels. The wine was aged in oak barrels and bottled with minimum filtration. Oak: 40% of the wine was aged for 16 months in French oak barrels (13% new), 30% in epoxy-free cement eggs, and 30% in a French oak foudre.
Tasting Notes: Deep violet in color, this Syrah expresses intense aromas of wild blackberries, spices, blueberries, and violets, along with mineral notes of pencil lead characteristic of the rocks in the vineyards. The palate expresses tremendous potential with intense and concentrated fruit, great texture, balance, and juiciness leading to a very long finish.
2013 – 90 James Suckling | 92 Tim Atkin
2014 – 91 James Suckling | 91 Wine Advocate
2015 – 92 James Suckling
2016 – 91 Descorchados
2017 – 93 James Suckling
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).