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Caliterra Reserva Chardonnay 1996

Chardonnay from Chile
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    The fruit for our Caliterra Chardonnay Reserva is grown in Casablanca Valley, known for its elegant Chardonnays, with a small percentage from Maipo Valley to add intensity. The majority of the blend is barrel fermented, and the wine is barrel aged for five to nine months. Malolactic fermentation occurs in 30% to 70% of the blend. The resulting Chardonnay is rich and full bodied. This wine is rich with tropical fruit and papaya. Softly accented with oak, the wine has a soft, creamy texture on the palate. This wine is the perfect companion to grilled sea bass or salmon, or roast chicken.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Caliterra

    Caliterra

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    Caliterra, Chile
    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.

    One of South America’s most important wine-producing countries, Chile is a reliable source of both budget-friendly wines and premium bottlings. Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile some time in the 1550s. But Chile’s modern wine industry is largely the result of heavy investment from the 1990s.

    Long and narrow, Chile is geographically isolated, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders allowed Chile to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation in the late 1800s and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted (as is the case in much of the wine producing world).

    Chile’s vineyards vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt Current. While historically focused solely on Pisco production, today this area finds success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    NDV42764_1996 Item# 11827