Emiliana Coyam (Certified Biodynamic) 2006
Other Red Blends from Chile, South America
Intense violet-red in color. Elegant expressions of ripe black-fruit such as black berries and cassis are delicately interwoven with oak, mineral, toffee, and chocolate notes.
The word Coyam, meaning oak, was used by the Mapuches, the original inhabitants of Chile. Ancient oaks surround the Emiliana vineyards where these biodynamic grapes are grown. Aged in French and American oak for 13 months, the palate others well-balanced volume, round tannins, and a long finish that shows both character and personality. Pairs well with roasted red meats, strong cheeses, pastas with spicy sauces, and dried fruit.
Wine Spectator - "Ripe and muscular, with freshly plowed dark earth, currant, fig, bittersweet cocoa and tobacco notes all wound up under a layer of dark, spicy toast. Flashes of graphite and minerality lurk on the finish. Needs time to come together. Syrah, Merlot, Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Best from 2010 through 2012. 3,000 cases made."
Vinedos Emiliana Winery
When it comes to organic farming, Chile is a natural. Flanked by the Andes to the east and the Pacific to the west, this long, narrow, remote land enjoys a geography and climate uniquely well suited to organic farming. Chile’s pristine environment offers exceptional growing conditions in which to nurture world-class organic wines.
Founded in 1986 by Chile’s Guilisasti family, Vinedos Emiliana is a privately owned initiative dedicated to producing wines made from organic grapes and, in the case of the super-premium Emiliana Gê and Coyam, made in accordance with biodynamic principals as well. Introduction of the debut 2003 vintage Gê marked the release of South America’s first ever certified biodynamic wine.
The progressive conversion of Emiliana's estate vineyards began in the mid-1990s. Today, Emiliana's vineyards total 2,812 acres in the regions of Maipo, Colchagua, Casablanca, Bío-Bío, Cachapoal and Limarí. Fully 1,470 acres enjoy official organic and biodynamic certification. The remaining 1,342 acres are ISO 14.001-certified and are transitioning to full organic status at a rate of 450 acres a year. Collectively, Emiliana constitutes the single largest source of estate-grown organic wines in the world.
To underscore their commitment to making world-class organic wines, the Guilisasti family recruited consulting enologist Alvaro Espinoza to oversee the project. A visionary who is regarded as one of the world’s premier authorities on organic, biodynamic and eco-balanced wines, Espinoza works closely with Emiliana’s resident winemaker, Antonio Bravo, on Emiliana's entire range of award-winning labels. Emiliana's three winemaking facilities are located in Los Robles and Palmeras in the Colchagua and in the Maipo Valley. View all Vinedos Emiliana 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.