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Haras de Pirque Albis 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
  • W&S92
  • WS90
14.8% ABV
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • WE90
  • WE90
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep red in color. Extremely elegant with fruit tea flavors. Layers of balsamic notes with dark chocolate and mint. Long lasting with a soft and velvety ending.

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Carménère

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
A joint venture between Haras de Pirque and Marchesi Antinori of Tuscany, Albis is a selection of cabernet sauvignon (75%) and carmenere (25%) from the estate vineyard in Pirque. It's big and lush, with deep flavors of black currant, black pepper, and brandied cherries. An imposing wine to cellar for at least five years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Quite dark, with plenty of bittersweet cocoa and fig sauce notes laid over a meaty palate of dark currant, blackberry, briar and melted licorice. The long, loamy finish lets hints of dark olive and tobacco peek in. Pulls no punches, in a classic Maipo style.
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Haras de Pirque

Haras de Pirque

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Haras de Pirque, Chile
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A partnership between the Matte family of Chile and the Antinori family of Italy, Haras produces a variety of exceptional wines from its 1480-acre estate and winery in Chile's Upper Maipo Valley. Home to a legendary thoroughbred breeding farm, Haras is committed to creating an ideal environment for both wine grapes and young horses, and is a leader among South American wineries in implementing sustainable and organic viticultural and winemaking practices.

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.

Bordeaux Blends

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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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

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.

SWS281548_2004 Item# 109085