Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc 2000
Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, South America
Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc showcases the intense fruit flavors and aromas that are characteristic of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Non-oxidative winemaking practices protect the fruit and ensure an elegant, harmonious style. Good acidity keeps the wine fresh and clean on the palate. The fresh fruit characters are best enjoyed within two years of vintage. This wine has floral and citrus characters laced with apple blossom and herbs. This versatile wine is perfect before a formal dinner, with a light meal or on a picnic.
The Eduardo Chadwick family originally created Caliterra in 1989 as a sister project to the family-owned Viña Errazuriz of Chile. Caliterra developed its own distinct style, however, by sourcing fruit throughout Chile's prime wine-growing regions. Caliterra was named for la calidad de la tierra, because it reflects the "quality" (calidad) and the "finest land" (tierra) of Chile. From the beginning, Caliterra focused on discovering new vineyard sources, seeking the best quality for each variety.
In 1996, the Chadwicks entered into a partnership with the Robert Mondavi family, which presented an ideal opportunity for us to realize our global vision of winemaking centered on an exchange of cultures and winemaking philosophies.
"We saw the same potential in Chile that we saw in Napa Valley 30 years ago," said R. Michael Mondavi, President and CEO of Robert Mondavi. "But most importantly, with Caliterra we saw people who are dedicated to producing wines that belong in the company of the greatest wines in the world."
Caliterra quickly evolved into a true working partnership. In the vineyards, viticulturists Pedro Izquierdo of Chile and Andy Bledsoe of California work together on all aspects of winegrowing, including planning new vineyard sites, managing existing vineyards and harvesting the grapes at their peak. They concentrate their efforts on finding the best vineyard sources for each variety.
In 1998, Caliterra crushed its first vintage at La Arboleda, a new, state-of-the-art winery located in the Colchagua Valley. Colchagua, which is located within the Valle Central appellation, is quickly becoming one of Chile's premiere regions for red varieties. Looking ahead, Caliterra will continue to explore the potential of Chilean wines as newer vineyards develop. The partners also plan to build a visitors center.
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Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
Long and thin, Chile has a lot of land north to south. The wine region here is a series of districts based near Santiago. The vineyards are protected by the Pacific on the west and the Andes mountains on the east. This could help explain why the climate changes more from east to west than north to south – also why the country has remained phylloxera free. Quite a few wineries in Chile were founded by large French wine companies. Seeing the potential of the country, vineyards were bought and planted by these French folks and the results tell of a smart investment. Some of these wineries include: Los Vascos, Casa Lapostolle and Cousino Macul.
And while the inspiration may have been French, but the wines here are quite Chilean.
The main regions of Chile include Maipo (pronounced MY-poh), known for reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere; Casablanca Valley, a region producing delicious Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other whites & some
reds; Colchaugua, an inland district creating amazing red wines from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly in the Apalta sub-region; and Rapel Valley, settled right under Maipo and producing the same red varietals. A couple of smaller regions to watch include Limari and Elqui, two valleys further north, producing some delicious cool-climate Chardonnay and Bio Bio, an area further south, which is also focused on cool-climate varieties. Chilean wines are growing in exports and more consumers are enjoying the delicious values coming from the country. Red wines of the region, though they cannot be generalized, make the whole gamut of wine quality – quaffable to collectible. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Carmenere are the main players, though Syrah is also making a splash. Some of the best reds are blends of the above varieties. As for whites, Sauvignon Blanc is typically crisp, herbal and racy, while Chardonnay is richer in style with full-bodied texture and tropical fruit flavors.
About South America
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard Chile
are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.