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Flat front label of wine

Luis Felipe Edwards Dona Bernarda Private Reserve 1997

Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
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    Winemaker Notes

    Style: Warm climate, medium-weight red

    Tasting Notes: A core of chocolate, blackcurrant and damson fruit, but with a herbal, slightly unripe edge. Becomes riper, more complex and silky with each vintage.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Luis Felipe Edwards

    Luis Felipe Edwards

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    Luis Felipe Edwards, Chile
    The Luis Felipe Edwards range of wines has been created for the discerning consumer who appreciates the full flavours and excellent value of quality wines from the New World. Luis Felipe Edwards Wines is a family-owned, boutique wine producer based in the Colchagua Valley in central Chile, creating fine wines for discerning wine drinkers around the world. The company is building a reputation internationally for the consistent quality of its wines and its professionalism. Our aim is to produce low volumes of grapes, small in size, in order to produce a more intense juice and therefore better quality wines. Very little spraying is used in the vineyard, and we use both drip and flood irrigation. The Puquillay vineyards, 180 km south of Santiago, have a special microclimate due to the mountains surrounding the property, and the considerable temperature differences which ensue are exceptionally favourable for producing fine red wines. 160 hectares are planted here - 105 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 hectares of Carmenère, 21 hectares of Shiraz, 7 hectares of Cot, 4 hectares of Petit Verdot and 5 hectares of Merlot. The Pupilla vineyards are located in the same valley and are within 50 kilometres of the Pacific coast. The climate and soil make them particularly suitable for producing high-quality white wines.

    A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

    Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, 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 to produce cool-climate 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 light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like 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, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

    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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    CGM23366_1997 Item# 26530