Chile’s Echeverria: Natural Wine and Much More

 

Echeverria has joined the “natural” wine band wagon and judging by the 2019 Viogner and Cabernet Franc that we tasted, they’re among the leaders in Chile. Echeverria offers wines to suit everyone’s tastes, ranging from natural wines to the very impressive, rich and concentrated Signatura 1 Syrah.  The Signatura 1 shows what high quality wine this producer is capable of making. And the new “natural” wines, which have the unusual label “No Es Pituko!”, are clean and well made. The other wines are best categorized as being easy drinking wines. They have attractive flavors, medium depth, and soft and round tannins.  They’re flavorful and great wines to sip in front of the fireplace or at the pool, depending on the season. The wines come from predominantly ungrafted, selected clones of pre-phylloxera French rootstock in their 80 ha vineyard, which the family established in the outskirts of Molina in 1923. All the fruit is hand picked.  Roberto Echeverria Jr is the chief winemaker.  For a comprehensive look at Chile and its wines, see our report Chile’s Premium Wine Revolution.

The Wines

Echeverria 2018 Chardonnay Gran Reserva Casablanca Valley 89 Floral scents accented by a note of vanilla bean and hint of white pepper, this is an easy drinking Chardonnay with good depth of sweet orchard fruit and light touches of vanilla oak.  It’s softly textured with honeyed oak flavors but not the grip one would expect from an oaked Chardonnay.  A great sipping wine.  Hand harvested from a single vineyard of ungrafted vines an half fermented in French oak and half fermented in stainless tanks. Aged in 225L French and American oak for 6 months. RS 1.7 g/L Alc 13.5%

Echeverria 2016 Carmenere Limited Edition Maipo Valley  92 Spice, plum, black cherry and notes of red berries show on the nose.  This is a delicious wine with good concentration, fresh flavors, and a firm but not overly tannic grip.  Excellent balance and good length, too. An excellent Carmenere! Made from ungrafted vines, hand picked, fermented in stainless and aged in 225L French oak for 14 months. Alc 14%

Roberto Echeverria Jr

Echeverria 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition Maipo Valley 91 This Cabernet Sauvignon based wine (with some Syrah and Carmenere) offers enticing aromas of black currant and dark berries with a smoky, earthy accent, and the attack is equally exciting with upfront, rich fruit. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah and 5% Carmenere. Extended skin maceration for 10+ days and aged in 225L French oak for 12 months. Alc 14%

Echeverria 2017 Carmenere Gran Reserva Curico Valley 91 The Carmenere Gran Reserva is the best of the Echeverria Gran Reservas. With appealing dark cherry scents, it has an energetic, medium weight palate that’s plush and easy to drink. It finishes with a remarkably rich, spicy extract. Very well done. From a single vineyard of ungrafted clones of pre-phylloxera French rootstock; includes 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.   Aged in 225L French oak for 12 months. Alc 13.5%

Echeverria 2018 Pinot Noir Gran Reserva Casablanca Valley 89 Revealing pomegranate and rose petals on the nose, this is a straightforward Pinot Noir. The very fresh, medium weight palate offers lovely raspberry and pomegranate with herbal undertones on the palate. 75% aged in French oak for 6 months. Alc 13.5%

Echeverria 2013 Syrah Signatura 1 Special Selection Maipo Valley 93 Chilean Syrah can be absolutely outstanding, and the Echeverria Signatura 1 is one of the best. It reveals excellent depth of dark berries with uplifting notes of red fruit, spice, and chocolate shavings. It has a beautiful, silky palate and an impressively long finish. A hand harvested blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from ungrafted vines. Aged in 225L new French oak barrels for 24 months. Alc 14.8%.

Echeverria 2017 Syrah Gran Reserva Rapel Valley 91 This Syrah is, oh, so easy to drink. A nose of peppery spice, black raspberry and raspberry is mirrored on a softly textured palate. A lovely, fresh wine packed with fresh fruit and finishing on an appealing dry note.  100% Syrah from ungrafted vines and aged 12 months in 225L French oak. Alc 14%

Natural Wines

Echeverria 2019 No es Pituko Natural Viognier 90 This is a floral, soft and feminine Viognier produced using “natural” methods. Despite no added sulfites added, the bottle we tasted was fresh and clean. It offers a sensual, perfumed bouquet of white peach, gardenia flowers, and chirimoya. The attack and the mouthfeel is silky and suave, aided no doubt by the 14% alcohol.  Overall, a nicely balanced and delicious wine perfect for pairing with delicate seafood and white cheeses.  Hand picked from a single vineyard of ungrafted, pre-phylloxera rootstock.  Unfiltered and no added sulfites.

Echeverria 2019 No Es Pituko Cabernet Franc Curico Valley 91 Showing very fresh plum and cherry on the nose, this Beaujolais-Nouveau styled Cabernet Franc is one of the most successful “natural” wines we’ve had recently. With a light, spritzy attack, it offers very fresh, peppery berry juice on the palate. Finishes dry and youthful. From a single vineyard of ungrafted, pre-phylloxera rootstock. Fermented with ambient yeast in stainless with natural malo, no filtration and no added sulfites. Alc 14%.

 

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