Chiles Natural Wine Sweet Spot!
After lengthy research in several regions of Chile, François Lurton planted his vineyard on virgin terroir, with poor soil and a healthy, balanced climate. Today the estate has 28 hectares of vines and Lolol has been given “protected designation of origin” status. The choice of the Lolol Valley proved to be judicious, thanks to the weather conditions and the granite schist terroir. The resulting wines have a unique personality. These vines are 100% disease free. Never been damaged by Phylloxera . Today, François Lurton continues to explore other possibilities, including planting grape vines that require cooler temperatures at higher altitudes, such as Cabernet or Pinot Noir. The goal is to produce distinguished, authentic, original wines. Lurton planted his first vines in 2000 in a rough climate but in great, disease free soil.
Hacienda Araucano lies near the historic town of Lolol, in Colchagua Valley, two hours’ drive from Santiago, on Route South 5. Santa Cruz is the nearest town, 30 km to the west.
The property lies in an east-west valley that receives cold air from the Pacific Ocean. The temperature difference between the sea and the land causes a white mist, the “Humo Blanco”, which is visible every morning just above their vines. It marks the border of their vineyard. Look at this soil!! Great drainage with cool temperatures in the night and warm in the day with most rainfall occurring in the winter months.
2013 Araucano Clos De Lolol Blend
100% Organic. Single Vineyard wine using a blend of all the 5 grapes that excel in the D.O of the Lolol Valley, 35% Syrah, 25% Carmenere, 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot.
All grapes come from the estate at Hacienda Araucano at Lolol. Planted with no rootstock, the vines which they cultivate, are among the last vines of the world not to have known Phylloxera. After the regular malolactic fermentation and a short period on the lees, it is aged in French oak of 1 and 2 wines,(Used) for 18 months. Carmenere is aged in 600 Liter Barrels. Due to the higher than usual rainfall and long ripening periods, the 2013 vintage was harvested one to two weeks later than in a normal year. After a very dry winter due to the natural phenomenon of La Niña, spring was influenced by its corollary, El Niño which had the effect of bringing rain during the vines’ growth period, an occurrence rarely seen in Chile! The complexity was confirmed at the end of fermentation.
A very deep dark purple with hues of crimson. 15% ABV give this wine a medium plus in body style. The nose jumps out of the glass with black berries, black cherry and plum with hints of milk chocolate, some rubber tire in the back and a pleasant woodsy aroma. On the palate it is very integrated and this unique terroir is expressed with silky flavors of macerated blackberries and plums, some minimal tobacco notes, vanilla and white pepper spice and like a heavyweight champion who you think is knocked out at the finish, this wine comes back up and punches you in the face with more intense fruit that lingers for quite a long time on the palate. This is one of the best wines I have tasted for the price from Chile in a long time. I would score this 94 points but I am deducting a couple of points for a slight bit much wood on the nose and palate. I will score this 92 out of 100 points!!
I can see why Lolol Valley received it’s D.O or protected area of Origin. It deserves it. I can see so many food pairings with this wine from a simple hamburger, to pizza to sharp cheeses to duck breast. It would work for a vegetarian meal like Eggplant or Portabello Mushroom Ravioli with Browned Sage Butter. You could just drink the darn thing on it’s own. Wines from Lolol are nothing to LOL at !!
Grape-fully yours, Larry