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Date Printed: 11/26/2014
Ritual Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir 2008
Ritual Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 103005)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/26/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 James Suckling rating: 94 points
2012 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#87 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

"2008 Ritual opens with striking aromas of black cherries, raspberry and plum. The mid palate is round, soft and elegant with black currant and blueberry notes mingling with hints of cola. Its rich, yet restrained tannins provide depth and lead to a luxurious finish."
Paul Hobbs, Consulting Winemaker

Ritual is the result of Veramonte's decade-long quest to make delicious and affordable Pinot Noir from Chile's Casablanca Valley. Agustin Huneeus partnered with American winemaker Paul Hobbs to produce a small bottling of a super premium Pinot Noir from the renowned Casablanca Valley. From planting each vine at our Casablanca Valley estate to hand harvesting in small batches, we apply the same time-honored methods to our Pinot Noir in the vineyard and winery as the great wines of Burgundy. Consulting Winemaker Paul Hobbs harvests at first light in the cool morning fog, introduce native yeast fermentations to bring out the vineyard's expression and use only gentle gravity handling to produce Ritual, a Pinot Noir characterized by elegance and grace.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ritual:

About Ritual:

Ritual wines come from the Veramonte winery. Veramonte represents a return to Agustin Huneeus' Chilean roots. When he spearheaded development of the Veramonte Estate in 1990, there were less than 100 acres of grapevines planted in the Casablanca Valley.

The coastal mountain ranges surrounding the Casablanca estate create a unique terroir with a diversity of microclimates. The valley floor's cool climate is reminiscent of Carneros and ideal for growing premium Chardonnay. The foothills are warmer, akin to the more Northern reaches of the Napa Valley. Here, the climate is more suited to varieties like Carmenëre, the lost Bordeaux grape that has become Chile's citizen and the basis of Primus, our racy, exotic Chilean blend.

Using the latest viticultural technology developed in California, rootstock has been matched to each vineyard block and clone. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing balance growth and fruit production. Veramonte's Casablanca vineyard produces significantly lower yields than other grape growing regions in Chile, resulting in grapes with more intensity and concentration.

Recognizing that the region also had potential as a tourist destination for its proximity to Santiago, Huneeus began to plant the estate and in 1995, constructed the first Napa Valley style hospitality center in Chile. The first wines were released in 1996.