VALDIVIESO WINES FROM CHILE
A MEETING WITH WINEMAKER BRETT JACKSON
Beverly Hills(Spiritsman)10/19/16/–Winemaker Brett Jackson from Valdivieso Wines was in Beverly Hills for a trade show, but the night before I hooked up with him and his sales director at Ocean Prime to learn more about these wines. My previous experience with wines from Chile has always been enjoyable, and this added to my determination to visit the country as soon as possible to see what is going on down there.
Jackson is a New Zealander who has been with the winery for 15 years, and he seems perfectly settled there living in a small agricultural town called Curico, a place where the night life is a far cry from that found in Beverly Hills. He doesn’t care because family and wine are his main passions and the product he puts out justify the hard work. The climate in Chile is perfect for wine makers, but the main competition for labor is from the mining industry where workers can earn far more in a day than they can earn in a week in the vineyards.
Luckily case production on the wines is quite low mainly because the vines are almost 100 years old. Star of the show at Valdivieso is Caballa Loco, described as the first great wine from Chile. I tasted both the Grand Cru Apalta 2013 from the Colchagua Valley ($35) and the more intense Caballa Loco #16 Maipo from Apalta and Central Valley ($70). This is a grape that needs lots of warmth which it gets December-February. To be honest I preferred the less expensive bottle but both wines are very exciting and fully deserve to be sought out.
Central to this wine is the Cabernet Sauvignon grape with different components from the Carmenere of Apalta and Peumo, Syrah of Limari and carignan from the old vines of Maule.
The barrels used for this wine were a combination of French Oak providing lots of wood in the feel of the wine which was been counter balanced by a lot of “New unoaked wine.” In the trade this is known as the Solera System. Only 50% of the mixture is bottled and the other 50% is returned to barrels to continue the aging and wait for the new harvest.
The signature wine however of Valdivieso is the Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2013 from the Curico Valley at a retail price of $25. This is the wine produced from 100 year old vines, thus the 3000 case maximum. The vineyard is called “La Primavera” and is protected from fresh breezes coming from the Mataquito River, and is particularly known to give exceptional flavor, color and aroma to Malbec and Merlot varieties.
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211