Vina Ventisquero Tara White 1 Atacama Chardonnay 2016
97 Points - LCD - 96 points – Tim Atkin. This exceptional 100% Chardonnay wine represent Fine Winemaking at its best - Vina Ventisquero is part of their Tara Atacama project to produce fine wines from the most extreme wine region in the world, the Atacama, Chile. One of the driest regions of the world, many obstacles have been overcome by the team, and the results are a range of wines with beautiful purity of fruit & striking minerality. Exceedingly low volumes of each vintage are produced by entirely artisanal processes. The grapes are harvested 100% by hand, and in the Chardonnay’s case, foot-crushed. T Winemaker Galaz believes, give the wines ‘the freedom to express their extreme origin’. The mouth is structured, linear and taut, providing great tension and persistence in the finish. This is a unique wine with great personality and character.
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50% of the grapes were left as whole clusters. The grapes were pressed by foot. No products were added to the must. All of the must was fermented with ambient yeasts in stainless steel barrels. The wine was aged for 21 months in stainless steel barrels in order to retain the identity of the place the grapes come from: the Atacama Desert.
This wine organoleptically represents its origin in the cool desert of northern Chile. The nose is essentially mineral, revealing aromas of stones and chalk, together with austere, delicate notes of green cherimoya (or custard apple) and white stone fruits. The mouth is structured, linear and taut, providing great tension and persistence in the finish. This is a unique wine with great personality and character.
About the Producer
Viña Ventisquero and their trio of avant-garde winemakers Alejandro Galaz, Felipe Tosso and Sergio Hormazabal who, accepted the somewhat sizeable challenge back in 2007, are on a mission to bring the ‘extreme’ wines of Chile’s unchartered Atacama Desert to the top of the world stage.
Making wine in Chile’s most northerly vineyards, and in one of the driest regions on earth, was never going to be easy. Situated 22km from the Pacific Ocean coast, and over 350km north of Santiago, vineyards experience warm days (averaging 24oC during the ripening season), cold nights and foggy mornings.
Soils suffer from extreme salinity, are difficult to irrigate and the general hostility of the environment causes several and severe problems both for vineyard growth and wine production.
Named after the Tara salt flat in northern Chile, in the world’s driest desert, the immense Atacama, where just 20mm of rain fall each year, these wines are a triumph of determination. The area is influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean and every morning the land is blanketed by the coastal fog known as the Camanchaca, which offers a brief respite to the sun-baked landscapes of Northern Chile. With this unique geography and in the absence of coastal mountains, the winds blow directly from the ocean to the vineyard, transforming the otherwise desert climate into a cool, quasi-Mediterranean climate.
The wines have no filtration, use native yeasts only with no addition of bacteria for malolactic fermentation and apply just a small dose of SO2 post fermentation. These methods,
Wine Press / Awards
10/10 - Independent.co.uk
"The remote Atacama desert in northern Chile is also probably the most challenging place on the planet to grow grapes. One of the driest places in the world, it has deeply saline chalky soils, the nights are cold and the region is enveloped daily by swirling fogs. And yet this is a challenge taken on by Vina Ventisquero with remarkable results. The combination of relatively low daytime temperatures and the mineral soils deliver wines of great character and purity: this chardonnay delivers amazing, taught purity of fruit and a chalky minerality that is closer to Chablis than, say, a traditionally oaky new world wine. Unfilitered, unfined, made with natural yeasts and therefore a little cloudy in the glass, this is a truly individual wine to savour and a fantastic conversation piece."
97 points – LCD - La Cava & Descorchados
92 Points - Decanter (2015)
"There's a lovely chalkiness to Tara's Chardonnay, plus a streak of salinity and green appley acidity. This is one of Chile's most exciting white wines. The hazy appearance in the glass isn't a fault - the wine is unfined and unfiltered. The tiny production of Tara wines is overseen by Ventisquero's talented winemaker Felipe Tosso, who has been given the freedom to do something quirky and to push viticultural boundaries. The location of the vines, on the southern fringes of the Atacama desert, stamps a real sense of place on all the Tara wines. It's cooler than you think, and the nature of the 2015 gives this Chardonnay a leaner, tauter profile still – think Chablis as opposed to the more Meursault-like character of 2014."
95 Points - Decanter (2013)
"When the winemaking team at Ventisquero (led by Felipe Tosso) decided to go to the Atacama Desert, it was to seek out a new terroir and create a new style of wine. The area they chose was Huasco, a region of white, chalky soils heavily influenced by the cool breezes of the Pacific Ocean. Made in small quantities (only 2,100 bottles of this vintage) and using minimal intervention, it has a cloudy appearance from being unfiltered, but the aromas burst forth with ripe, white fruits and intense minerality. The palate has an oily texture which envelops the mouth, along with refreshing, inviting spiky acidity."
96 points – Tim Atkin
94 points – Robert Parker
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