One of our longtime favorite importers of Argentine wines, Vine Connections, has opened the Chilean floodgates on Tucson. We’ll be hosting a tasting in our private dining room from 5 to 7 pm on Thursday, September 19th. There’ll be hors d’oeuvres and wine, though it won’t be in our usual format. You can stroll from table to table, tasting wines and getting filled in by representatives from the importer, the distributor and (we hope) even a winery or two. Below is a little information about which wineries to expect there, and you can reserve a spot by calling us at 326-9363. The price for the tasting is $15.00, inclusive of food, and attendees will get a discount on any of the wines they order from the tasting. We’re sorry if it’s inconvenient, but reservations made by email or through Open Table cannot guarantee you a spot in the tasting.
Merino wines: Chardonnay 2012 & Syrah 2012
René Merino is a physician who got into the wine business through his family’s agricultural background. The winemaker is José Pablo Martin, one of the most exciting young winemakers in Chile, who has worked with top Chilean and French producers.
Mayu wines: Pedro Ximenez 2012 & Carmenere-Syrah 2012
The Olivier family started Viña Mayu in 2005 and were the first to bring winemaking to the Elqui Valley. They honor the place and its history with the name of the winery – “Mayu” is the Incan word for the Milky Way’s “river of stars”. The driving force for Mayu was transforming a tract of extreme terroir with enormous potential into a vineyard producing premium wines.
Von Siebenthal wines: Parcela #7 2010 & Carabantes 2010
In 1998, after two decades of dreaming, a Swiss lawyer named Mauro von Siebenthal’s passion was realized in Chile. Through careful study of soil and sunlight exposure, Mauro planted Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the cool clay-limestone soil of the plains, while the warm sandy, stony soil of the hills is ideally suited for the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Carménère and Petit Verdot
Aquitania: Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 & Sol de Sol Chardonnay 2009
Bruno Prats (Cos d’Estournel) and Paul Pontallier (Chateau Margaux) decided to look for high quality land in Chile to plant a new vineyard. Their third associate was their Chilean friend, agronomist and oenologist Felipe de Solminihac. In 1990, they acquired 45 acres in the ‘Quebrada de Macul’ – historically the heart of the Maipo Valley vineyard. Vina Aquitania was born. In January 2003, Ghislain de Montgolfier (CEO of Bollinger), became the fourth partner.
Amayna: Sauvignon Blanc 2012 & Pinot Noir 2011
Matias Garcés Silva launched Amayna with his family’s support in 2002. The word “amayna” in Chile loosely translates to “the calm before the storm” – it is that ominous yet peaceful feeling that you only experience around the ocean. Their gravity fed winery and vineyards sit just 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
J. Bouchon wines: Canto Norte 2012 & Canto Sur 2012
J. Bouchon brings together youthful enthusiasm and the wisdom that comes from family tradition. Their history goes back to 1892 when Emile Bouchon left Bordeaux, France to come to Chile. The family’s vision is to take their great terroir and to focus on great boutique wines made with the Bordeaux grape varieties they grow. Today, with Patrick Vallette’s assistance in the cellar, Julio Bouchon and his children are making some of Chile’s most compelling values in red wine.
Clos Des Fous wines: Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Clos des Fous is about four friends – four crazy guys that have chosen to ignore the “experts” about where to plant vineyards and to trust their own instincts. The team is viticulturist Paco Leyton, winemaker Francois Massoc, terroir hunter Pedro Parra, and “bringer of wisdom” Albert Cussen. Clos des Fous, at its heart, is a project dedicated to finding extreme terroirs in Chile and then exploring those to craft unique wines.
Garcia & Schwaderer: Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Felipe and Connie – Garcia & Schwaderer – met in 2001 and since then their fates have been intertwined. In early 2006 after each had served as a winemaker for separate large wineries, they made their first wine together, a declaration of what they consider “Chilean” wine. They have added each of their own signature varieties – Sauvignon Blanc for Connie and Pinot Noir for Felipe.
Casa Silva wines: Sauvignon Gris 2012, Carmenere, Cuvee Colchagua 2012,
Carmenere, Los Lingues 2012 and Merlot Cuvee 2012
The Silva family pioneered grapegrowing in the Colchagua Valley with the first vineyards back in 1892. Their cellar is the oldest in the valley. They strive to innovate in their vineyards and to pioneer new terroirs in the Colchagua Valley. They are paving the way for Carmenere by investing in research studies in their vineyards to study clones and microterroirs.