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Ritual Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Casablanca Valley, Chile
  • JS93
  • WW92
14% ABV
  • JS93
  • JS94
  • JS93
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • WS90
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3.7 63 Ratings
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3.7 63 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Ritual Pinot Noir 2014 opens with fresh and generous fruity aromas of cherries and raspberries. Refreshing and juicy with a medium body. The palate is round, smooth and balanced with a silky, velvety finish.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
Crushed ripe strawberries with blackberries. Some mineral undertones too. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh and racy finish. Shows some granite and slate as well. Balanced, fruity style. Drink now.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
A sly and tricky Pinot Noir, the 2014 Ritual took me on a wild and crazy joy ride and sent me into a place of heavenly delights. I was fooled at first and had to take a double take on my own notes, I just wasn't trusting myself and I was overthinking the process. Yes, this wine is special and after further review, calls for a crown roast of lamb on a mild warm day after a splash of Rosé Champagne, Yes, this the way to go! Light red, garnet color; active, almost wild red fruit aroma, attractive and pure, too much fun for the nose; medium bodied, texture on the palate; dry, medium acidity, good balance; bright red fruit flavors, with mouthwatering mineral and savory notes; medium finish, slightly soft textures in the aftertaste. (Tasted: August 12, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
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Ritual

Ritual

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Ritual, Casablanca Valley, Chile
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Ritual wines come from the Veramonte winery. Veramonte represents a return to Agustin Huneeus' Chilean roots. When he spearheaded development of the Veramonte Estate in 1990, there were less than 100 acres of grapevines planted in the Casablanca Valley.

The coastal mountain ranges surrounding the Casablanca estate create a unique terroir with a diversity of microclimates. The valley floor's cool climate is reminiscent of Carneros and ideal for growing premium Chardonnay. The foothills are warmer, akin to the more Northern reaches of the Napa Valley. Here, the climate is more suited to varieties like Carmenëre, the lost Bordeaux grape that has become Chile's citizen and the basis of Primus, our racy, exotic Chilean blend.

Using the latest viticultural technology developed in California, rootstock has been matched to each vineyard block and clone. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing balance growth and fruit production. Veramonte's Casablanca vineyard produces significantly lower yields than other grape growing regions in Chile, resulting in grapes with more intensity and concentration.

Recognizing that the region also had potential as a tourist destination for its proximity to Santiago, Huneeus began to plant the estate and in 1995, constructed the first Napa Valley style hospitality center in Chile. The first wines were released in 1996.

Casablanca Valley

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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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

GZT10091397_2014 Item# 140226