Elki Elki Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, South America
Grapes are hand-picked during the first week of March into small picking lugs and pressed after ten hours of skin contact. Juice stays on the lees for three days prior to inoculation for start of fermentation that takes place at 15-16 degrees Celcius. 95% of wine is fermented and in stainless-steel, 5% barrel fermented in seasoned French oak without Malolactic fermentation. Blending and bottling take place four to six months after harvest.
The Wine Advocate - "Elki’s 2008 Sauvignon Blanc has an expressive bouquet of spring flowers, melon, grapefruit, and lemon-lime. Impeccably balanced, this pure, vibrant wine has a long, fruit-filled finish and should provide pleasure for the next two years. "
International Wine Cellar - "Light yellow. Sharply focused lime and grapefruit on the nose, along with notes of white pepper and anise. Fleshy but energetic, with sweet pear and tangy citrus flavors underscored by dusty minerals. The herbal note repeats strongly on the spicy, impressively persistent finish. This wine's vibrancy and clarity are worthy of note."
The Elqui Valley is a coastal desert and Chile's northernmost wine producing region. In Quechua, the language of the Incan Empire, Elqui or 'Elki' means 'narrow valley'. The Elqui Valley is oriented east-west and there are two very important conditions that influence the character of the wines: the altitude and the temperature. The altitude of the vineyards range between 350 and 2,000 meters above sea level and temperatures are very different in the various sectors of the valley. There is a very cold area close to the ocean (between I5 and 25 km) and a warmer, drier area close to the Andes where the altitude is between 550 and 2,000 meters. This diversity of climates allows for the production of a wide range of varieties and brings great complexity to the wines. The main grape varieties are: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pedro Ximenez, Syrah, and Carmenere. Plantings of Pinot Noir and Riesling have been added recently. Soils are very stony with excellent drainage.
Elki wines are Estate grown, produced, and bottled at Viña Mayu in the Elqui Valley. Viña Mayu was established in 2005 as an independent part of Viña Falernia, the first Elqui valley fine wine producer, founded by Aldo Olivier Gramola in 1997. Aldo's family arrived in the Elqui Valley in 1951 from Italy and began growing table grapes and grapes for the production of Pisco (the national Chilean spirit) in 1975. Aldo's eldest son, Mauro, started working in the family vineyards for table grape production when he was very young; later he was involved in producing Pisco; and finally in 2005 he decided to start his own wine business, Vina Mayu, dedicated to producing only premium wines from the Elqui Valley. View all Elki Wines
About ChileView a map of Chile wineries (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.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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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.