Erasmo Unfiltered Red Wine 2009
“Erasmo is the name of a local farmer that helped me understand the uniqueness of the ancient land of Caliboro…Come and visit this extraordinary organic farm where ancient traditions and state of the art winemaking meet.” –Count Francesco Marone Cinzano
In 1995, Count Francesco Marone Cinzano, owner of the eminent Col d’Orcia estate in Montalcino, visited the Maule Valley in Chile on a trip to the Conquistadores Trail. He fell in love with the land – an area he felt exhibited a true “Harmony of Nature” - and felt there was immense potential for the production of world-class wines. Count Cinzano and longtime consultant Maurizio Castelli settled on the area of “Riserva di Caliboro” in the Maule Valley to establish Erasmo. The decision to farm organically was paramount from the beginning. In fact, the Caliboro area was chosen because of the allowance of dry farming. The estate was certified organic with the 2014 vintage.
The Caliboro Valley lies along the river Perquilauquen. It is covered in gently sloping alluvial terraces and rich in native vegetation and wildlife. The area enjoys intense sunlight, dry southerly winds and optimal rainfall.
Count Cinzano’s life is inextricably linked with fine wine, with a family tradition of winemaking dating back over 400 years. His unshakeable dedication to producing the highest quality sustainable and organic wines is apparent with Erasmo, but it does not end with grapes. His dedication to the people behind the wines is foremost. Most of the estate’s workers live on the farm and are allowed to cultivate their own plot of land within the propriety, as well as keep their own livestock.
Maule is the Central Valley’s most southern and coolest zone, reaching a southern latitude of 35°S, yet it is still warmer and drier than Bío-Bío to its south. The Maule Valley enjoys success with a unique set of grapes.
It lays claim to the local variety, Pais (synonymous with Tinta Pais, which is actually Tempranillo), which has dominated much of the region’s area under vine until the recent past. Now many growers, not confined by the tradition and regulations of the Old World, also successfully grow Cabernet Sauvignon.
While Maule’s total area under vine remains relatively static, its old Carignan vineyards are undergoing a great revival. The VIGNO (Vignadores del Carignan Vintners) group, an association in charge of promoting this long-forgotten variety, is getting fantastic results from the old vines in its dry-farmed coastal zones.
The Maule includes the subregions of Talca, San Clemente, San Javier, Parral, Linares and Cauquenes.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.