Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2018
The 2018 Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Pinot Noir is an intense, ruby color. On the nose, strawberries and dried figs blend with notes of black tea, complemented by hints of vanilla and spice from the French oak barrels. Medium bodied, concentrated but balanced, with some tannin that will reward ageing in bottle. Finishes long and clean.
Casas del Bosque winery and vineyards are located in the Casablanca Valley. At just over 900 ft above sea level, and about 12 miles inland from the Pacific, the climate is ideal for producing cool climate wines; the estate vineyards are planted to Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Pinot Noir. The Carménère and Cabernet Sauvignon red wines come from the Rapel and Maipo valleys where they contract specific vineyards sites for their wines.
About the Winemaker - Meinard Jan Bloem
Meinard was born and grew up in The Netherlands. He arrived in Chile in 1995, and very quickly decided to make it his new home. He now regards himself as more Chilean than Dutch. He decided to become a winemaker and went to study at the Universidad Católica in Chile, where he graduated as best student in the history of his Faculty. After completing his study in Santiago he went to Montpellier and Geisenheim (Germany) to obtain a Master’s Degree in Viticulture and Enology. He also had the chance to work with such renowned people in the world of Pinot Noir as Greg La Follette, Stefan Dorst (Weingut Friedrich Becker) or Sylvain Pitiot at the famous Domaine du Clos de Tart in Burgundy. In Germany he trained at Weingut Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, producing some of the worlds best dry Rieslings.
Having worked several years at a small vineyard and winery, running everything from viticulture to sales, in 2016 he was ready for a bigger challenge. Having been called by Tim Atkin MW one of “the younger generation of winemakers [that] is taking the country to new levels,” and since the only two Sauvignon Blancs he had ever made are still amongst the 10 best from Chile according to Wine Spectator, the decision to hire him at Casas del Bosque was an easy one. He’s one of the few winemakers in Chile who feel more confident in the vineyard than in the cellar, is fluent in six languages and in his free time enjoys riding -and occasionally crashes- a motorcycle.
A region that has become synonymous with some of the best whites of Chile, the Casablanca Valley is full of dozens of bodegas who either grow fruit here or come from outside to source from local growers for their own white wine programs. The valley runs from east to west, which means that its westernmost vineyards receive the most cooling influence from the reliable afternoon sea breezes. The soils also tend to be heavier in clay in the west, whereas the eastern end of the valley is warmer and its soils are predominantly granitic. Sauvignon blanc thrives here, Chardonnay does well and Pinot noir is not uncommon.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”