Amayna Pinot Noir 2011
Pinot Noir from Chile, South America
The influence of the sea and soil combined with slow ripening make for a deep ruby-red wine with a touch of violet and great aromatic complexity. The nose evokes ripe fruits with elegant notes of vanilla and spice from the well-integrated oak. Ideal with lamb or game birds.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red. Spicy cherry, dark berry, herbal and floral aromas show good energy and precision. Bitter cherry and blackcurrant flavors are given lift and spine by tangy minerality, which adds back-end cut. Gains power and smokiness with air, along with a musky nuance and gentle tannins that fold smoothly into the wine's fruit on the long, sweet finish. Shows a suave balance of richness and vivacity, with an earthiness that's highly reminiscent of serious Burgundy."
The Garces Silva family is one of the pioneers in the Leyda Valley's viticultural development and planted the land with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The vines are now reaching optimal maturity of 10 years old, and have begun to produce some very dynamic and unique expressions of Chardonnay. Located in a valley that lies between the Coastal Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, Amayna's gental coastal hills are characterized by organically poor soils and a maritime climate. Sitting 8.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the vineyards receive cool ocean breezes and maritime humidity to create a perfect balance. They harvest by hand and employ gravitational flow in lieu of pumps to create elegant wines. View all Amayna Wines
About Chile(CHEE-lay)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.
Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
Notable FactsThe 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.
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Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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